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July 2017

Wisdom & Spirit

The Powerful Secret That Will Immediately Improve Your Life

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Do you think that the people and situations in your life get enough of you? That’s a heavy question, but one that you need to ask yourself.

In fact … we all do.

If you’re completely honest with yourself (yes, I mean REALLY honest), I’ll bet the answer is no.

If your answer is yes, I’d say you need to take ONE big gulp and ask a loved one to see if they agree and prepare yourself for some hard hitting truths!

You see, we tend to “take care of” people before we give them our time.

For example: as a mom you’ll often be so busy doing the laundry, making dinner, doing dishes, getting groceries, taxiing children to/from after school activities and so on that you end up not having the time to PLAY or RELAX.

Sure, your kids will be well fed, well taken care of and loved. Here’s the reality, you’re so busy trying to be Supermom that there’s no time for play or much one on one attention.

Where does your partner fit in there? Do you have time for them or are you just as sparsely available?

Fast-forward ten years, when you look back, what will you see?

  • Will you have lots of wonderful memories of swinging with your child at the park or taking walks with your aging parent?
  • Will you remember deep conversations with your partner?
  • Will you look back and see all the little (and big) things that make life so sweet?

…Or

  • Will you see how hard you worked?
  • How many hours you spent doing chores?
  • Will you see tons of stress, due to the fact that you’re spread thinner than phyllo dough?

Your friends, kids, partners, and family don’t want the phyllo dough version of you. Give them the Baklava! Truly taking care of them means giving more of you, which (time to be honest again) you can’t do if there’s nothing left to give.

We live in a world that is VASTLY different than it’s ever been.

It’s changing daily. Hourly. By the minute, really.

It’s a world that among other things, seems hellbent on automating everything and promotes the feeling that asking for or accepting help is for the weak.

Remember the “Glorification of Busy?”

So what the heck do we do? How in the world do we get to a place where we’re consistently giving the Baklava version of ourselves? Like the song says “I get by with a little help from my friends”…

AHHHH… help, huh? We’re so used to helping everyone else that we don’t often take it ourselves when it’s offered.

Time to be honest again .. When was the last time you let someone help you?

  • When was the last time you asked a friend to come help you clean your house because you were just too overwhelmed?
  • When was the last time you accepted an offer to run an errand for you or babysit?
  • When have you felt strong enough to ask an old employer for a letter of recommendation?

When you ask for and accept help, you’re not weak. In fact, living in the world we live in, I’d say it takes a fair amount of strength to admit this one thing:

You can’t do it all.

Here’s the flip side of asking for or accepting help: when someone offers to help you, it’s usually because they genuinely want to. They want to lighten your load, make things a little easier for you. It shows that they care for you and your well-being.

“Hey, Jenny, you sounded so stressed out on the phone before. I know you have a lot to do; you’d said you needed to pick up a few things. I’ll be in town, why don’t you text me your grocery list and let me go to the store for you?”

  • Do you say yes?
  • Do you feel a sigh of relief that that’s one less thing to worry about and grateful to have such a good friend?
  • Do you now have time to make memories or do something for yourself?

So many of us would say no. So many of us would consider it but .. yes, the but comes in, we’d ultimately turn down the offer due to the guilt that rises up in our mind of  actually burdening someone else and our little voice starts nagging about the “weakness” we’d be admitting to.

Then what?

Well, the plate is just as full as it was before and now you’re left wishing that you’d accepted the offer. So you end up just as stressed out, just as thinly spread, just as busy… PLUS now you’re kicking yourself because you could have had one less thing to think about, had you been able to say yes.

Tell me why you’d rather feel that way then let someone help you?

“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” ― Will Smith

On the flip side of this whole thing is the person that wanted to be there for you. I don’t know about you, but if I had a friend in need of help, I’d want to help! If she said, “no, thanks,” I’d be bummed out. People love to help, look at yourself… isn’t that what you do?

You take care of everyone and everything, don’t you?

We want to make life easier on others, most of us really do WANT to help, and it feels good. Helping others helps build our own self-esteem, self-confidence and promotes a feeling of satisfaction. So, when you turn away someone’s kindness, you’re not only shooting yourself in the foot, but you’re denying the other person the chance to feel good about helping someone they care for.

I challenge you to accept the next time someone tries to help you, whether it’s  your partner, friend or neighbor to say ‘Yes.’ I think you’ll find that things are really a lot nicer “with a little help from your friends”.

You can feel good knowing that they really want to be there, they can feel good knowing that they’re part of allowing you to breathe a little easier.

Easier said than done, I know.  But, it really is a WIN-WIN!

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”  – Charles Dickens

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Life Changes

Helped By A Cheeky Little Monkey

Cheeky Little Monkey

Time to share a cheeky peek at my most recent trauma recovery therapy session.

Having completed almost seven years of weekly Somatic Experiencing™ (SE®) sessions with my incredible SE certified therapist, I now go for monthly what I call “maintenance” sessions. And I’m so glad, because stuff continues to come up.

They say we’re never really finished, and it’s true. I’ve been deeply disappointed and curious at the lack of sales in my creative business, finally arriving at an awareness that I was mentally/energetically putting up a “closed” sign even as I was marketing and redesigning website content to clear the path for my ideal clients and being two weeks shy of releasing my first Amazon book From Fear to Love How Creativity Saved My Life and Will Change Yours for the Better.

Finally, with the help of my therapist, I spoke the words that have evaded me for years.

I am afraid of being successful/happy because it will all be taken away from me.

It all comes down to abandonment, my very earliest wounding.

Being certified in play therapy as well, my therapist took me through a profoundly moving exercise. At her direction, I chose toys that represented this fear (the orange – oh how I don’t like the color orange!- plush octopus, grasping my fear in its tentacles) and happiness (my competent protector lion with its courage and mighty roar, King Kong that had me smiling, and the tiny felt-covered monkey with brightly piercing and beguiling eyes).

 My therapist had me focus, agenda-free, on the octopus for about 30 seconds, paying attention to what showed up in my body. I then followed her moving finger with my eyes to the pictured characters, focusing, again agenda-free, for about 30 seconds, and again paying attention to what showed up in my body. Back and forth three times. Sort of a playful EMDR. Sort of…

Octopus: I curled away from it, arms protecting myself. Grief and sadness poured out in my tears. I hissed at it, stomped on it with my foot.

Happy trio: I smiled and giggled, leaning in towards them and placing the little monkey on King Kong’s head. I cried soft little tears of longing.

After the transitions, I sat quietly, waiting to see how my body reacted. React it did, with random twitches, stretches, contractions… and without tears.

Wrapping up, my therapist told me that this would likely continue over the next few days. When I asked what “this” was, she replied that it was my disorganized nervous system seeking to organize. Made enough sense to me, given the vast realm of releasing and creating new neural pathways I’ve experienced under her care these last years.

Still, how amazing and quasi-mysterious it all remains to me, a registered nurse turned healthcare informatics consultant turned artist and writer, with a keen clinical perspective and fascination with the anatomical and physiological dynamics of SE.

And how wonderful that my deep sense of abandonment was softened a bit by the whimsical gaze of a cheeky little monkey.

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Family Matters

Girls and Sexuality

girls and sexuality

Thankfully sex as a young woman for me was something that didn’t set the path for my sexual experiences to come; sexual empowerment came later. In those early days, it was more about groping about, fumbling along and hoping for the best. That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.

That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.

It isn’t unusual to discuss topics on vaginas, their clitoris, orgasms and the whole mystery of oral sex. With so much information online and sex education in schools, young girls are far more aware of the ‘whole sexual experience’ than ever before. But this can also be totally distorted by the readily available pornography, provocative photos on social media and askew views on ‘how one should perform’. Perhaps girls are now left more confused than ever!

So, in some ways ignorance really was bliss!

So, with today’s knowledge and children developing younger and younger let’s find the right balance in equipping our young daughters with the right information to have total respect for themselves – so when the timing is right for them they are actually able to enjoy their sexual experiences. Over the years I have gathered tips through my experience and work with young women defining this list –

  1. Let’s Communicate – Be open with your child and actually learn to talk openly with them; educating them at home (at the appropriate age of course) will ensure they develop a healthy respect for sex. Having open, natural discussions (we used to have these around the dinner table) will help your child to have a healthy respect for sex emotionally and physically. Their experiences will be more positive and they won’t develop so many ‘hang ups’. Talk about everything from teenage pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases to their body image will help them to alleviate any concerns they might be withholding.
  2. Making Logical & Well Thought out ‘Judgements’ – Teach your child to be able to problem solve and make decisions that are right for them – this, of course, is important in every area of their lives. This will allow them to follow their desires and be in control of their own sexuality without exploitation. Children from around the age of 6 years old start questioning everything in life as they develop their conscious mind. As they get older keep this alive by encouraging them to question and explore their sexual feelings. The more in touch they are with their own thoughts and desires the more they will analyse, assess and prepare themselves for their own sexual experience and their partner. I would encourage my girls to ask themselves, ‘What are my sexual feelings?’ And get them to think about them. The stronger the thoughts are around this, the better quality of life they will produce.
  3. Commend their Own Sexual Pleasure – What is often missing in sex education today is how a woman achieves her own sexual pleasure, orgasm, masturbation and arousal. We often talk about the dangers of sex and what can go wrong but what we really need to focus on is the joy sex can bring whilst being responsible. Girls are often told ‘not to masturbate’, ‘it’s dirty’ but this is how they learn about arousal and we should encourage this along with having sexual fantasies. Girls can then develop a healthy relationship with themselves; one of self-love, which you ultimately need first before you can go on to have a healthy sexual relationship with a partner.
  4. Pornography – A relatively new phenomenon is porn online and because of the way society has developed digitally now more than ever our children need educating at a young age what pornography really is. This really needs to be done before they come across any porn. This isn’t the sort of sex that they are looking for; this is the quick fix, unromantic type of sex that isn’t about relationships. Once young girls are aware of the differences between porn and what sex really is about they can make their own decisions later in life with what they want. Once a young girl has this understanding she will be in control of what she wants and desires and not what society portrays to her.
  5. How We Feel About Sex – In my work I focus on ‘people’s feelings’ as I believe this is what life is about – how we feel about something. Young children are very in touch with their emotions and we ‘lose’ this art of connecting with our inner selves as we grow older and life gets in the way. Sex can be seen as something we DO – to reproduce, to have babies and to relieve ourselves, and not something we FEEL. Encourage your daughter to explore what she feels is right for her sexually – does she want to chat beforehand, does she want to be touched, how does she like to be kissed… and so on. This is a great place to begin, as she will feel empowered and not submissive. Sex is to be enjoyed, it is an act of love, and we want to FEEL good about it. It isn’t something you just do.

Helping your daughter to understand and explore her own sexuality can be one of the greatest gifts you give to her – it could save her years of pain and hurt, putting her on a path to value her personal sexuality and be in control of her sexual destiny. Encouraging your daughter to seek bodily awareness and a curiosity will give her huge sexual empowerment.

As always I love to hear from you – don’t be alone!

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Retail Therapy

The Power Of Connection

A month ago I had the idea to create a training on how to network that could itself be a networking event.

I ran it by my husband and the right hand woman in my business.

They agreed, go for it!

I am a full time traveler so gone are the days of dressing up and walking into a BNI meeting. Most of time I’m hoping wifi doesn’t drop as I facilitate meetings from the beach while my two toddlers play.

I went live in my Facebook group and within thirty minutes the first five women were in. The registrations rolled in quickly and what I loved most was women from all over the world were signing on. Within eight days I had my goal 50 women in the program, from five generations and 12 countries. By the last day of registration a total of 58 were in.

We have attorneys, writers, artists, therapists, coaches, marketers, clothing designers, women from a wide range of industries, all with incredible life and professional experience. 

Networking didn’t start nine years ago when I started my business. I started right out of high school when I decided instead of going to college, I was going to travel the world as a volunteer. 

I’m teaching them everything I’ve used over the last twenty years online and off to connect with the right people.

The mantra I’ve developed is connection is key and intimacy is golden. 

I’m grateful for technology because it allows me to do business from just about anywhere and I know that human connection will never go out of style. 

Three of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a business consultant is that most women in business are:

1. Extremely isolated. They are doing their best to wear a dozen hats and what usually ends up happening is they don’t believe they have time to be in community with others like themselves.

2. Riding a rollercoaster. Business is always going to be filled with ups and downs and yet isolation makes them more extreme. Without a support group lowers last longer and wins are rarely celebrated.

3. Undervalue themselves. My work requires me to be surrounded by great women and they often don’t see their own greatness. 

This group is dynamic! They are asking questions, getting to work, finding friends and power team members and feeling power of their own momentum.

There are a few lone wolves in our society but by far we thrive in groups. We have a deep desire to be seen and known. We crave support and love. It’s been my intention to do business differently. 

I want women to experience what it feels like to be surrounded by powerful women, on a mission, purposeful, and conscious.

I want women to tap into their gifts and abilities in order to serve others and provide for themselves.

I want women to believe their wildest dreams and aspirations absolutely can come true!

Join us in the next networking intensive here!

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Personal Growth

It’s Not Your Fault

Sad-Girl-Sea-Hd-Wallpaper

In my struggles with self-love and self-worth I made it my business to know how this happened and in my studies of Neuro-Semantics and PNI (PsychoNeuroImmunology) I learned a lot.

This gave me great insight to understand how my childhood contributed to my lack of self-worth (without judgement) and the tools to restore it.

Since the root cause of your self-love and self-worth issues stems from childhood, it is not your fault. However it is your responsibility to resolve them. I believe that it is part of our spiritual path to become aware and resolve these issues as they are the key to resolving other challenges in our lives.

I have always believed and I hope you agree that once we understand things we have more power to change them. Of course this description is a very general outline and the idea is for you to see how this relates to your self-worth.

Throughout our lifetime we form the idea of ourselves from the people close to us. At first from our parents and caregivers and then as we move through life we evolve this idea of ourselves from the messages of our teachers, friends, colleagues, life-partners.

As a baby you believed that you were one with your mother. Only from about 2 years did you realise that you were a separate person. However, you started perceiving messages about you and the environment you were destined for even while you were still in your mother’s womb.

Your mother’s pregnancy played a huge role to whether you felt welcome and safe or not. If she was stressed then the Noradrenalin and Cortisol she released were transferred to you. This then sensitised your Amygdala – your fight flight or freeze part of your brain signalling that your survival was threatened.

My own life started traumatically and continued into my nurture years with the result of having a paralysing fear of survival and unworthiness.

After birth your nurture years further contributed to your self-concept. The criteria were how your needs were met in terms of being fed, cleaned and feeling loved, touched and held as well as the way you were talked to – the words, tone of voice, facial expressions and energy.

This continues through school. Now the evaluations and comments of teachers add to our sense of self.

Unknowingly parents’ reward-reprimand system to teach children what is acceptable and not, does such immense harm if not applied with the intention of promoting unconditional self-worth.

When we did well at school we received praise and when we performed below expectations we received criticism or worse we were punished or ignored.

As children we interpreted this as self-worth and our self-worth became conditioned upon our performance – what we did or did not do, had or did not have and other people’s opinions.

When we became teenagers we compared ourselves with our peers and asked Who Am I? The answers to this question became our highest beliefs about ourselves and if not supportive of us, with nasty consequences that I will address in upcoming blogs.

For me the most detrimental consequence of the lack of self-love and self-worth is feeling separate or disconnected from Source, God, Spirit, Universe, Creator – or what it is to you. The feeling of being alone and abandoned – that you are the only one suffering and struggling with this. This makes it shameful, hiding it from others and keeping up a front of all is well.

Well you are not alone let me assure you. Most people struggle with self-love and self-worth on some level.

The good news is that although your self-worth was out of your control as a child, you can change it and restore it fully. Doing this will change the course of your life and your destiny.

So how do you restore it fully?

The first step towards that is to accept your self completely, imperfections and all. Also to accept your life as it is now. This is not to say you condone everything, just to accept it. When you accept it you can do something about it or let it go.

The next step is to separate your self-worth and self-confidence. Your self-worth refers to your human being and your self-confidence to your human doing. When you do this, your self-worth becomes unconditional and you give yourself permission to learn by experimenting and making mistakes.

This creates freedom of self-expression and moving closer to your authentic real powerful Self which is the ultimate relationship and spiritual connection.

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Innovation & Business

Healthy Competition, for a Healthy Life and a Healthy Business

life.grid.competition

If you’re a business owner, you have competition. Believing otherwise means that you’re not aware of who’s competing for your customers. It also means that you could be setting your business up for an ambush.

I know it’s easy to pretend they’re not there; however, you’re doing yourself and your business a massive disservice.

In life, competition is good for you.

Does that sound like something your mother would say? Well, she would be right.

When we compete, we’re more likely to push ourselves to be our best. We feel more motivated, and will actively look for inspiration to help us become better and better versions of ourselves.

And it’s not all about us. It’s about making the world a better place. When people compete to accomplish good things, everyone benefits.

The same concept applies to business. When one tech company develops a cutting-edge programme, its competition works to create a better one. When one laboratory pioneers a cure for a disease, others are driven to cure it in a better, more healthful way. When one school graduates students with high rankings, others will strive to do the same…and more.

Until you become one with the idea of competing for the betterment of yourself, others and the world, you may struggle with how to view your competitors. Until now, they were the enemies, right? They were keeping you from serving your entire target audience…and from being number one in your industry, right?

I want you to dispose of that notion immediately. Start to think of them as the reason you’re experiencing success, and one of the driving factors behind your continual advancement.

I have put together a list of things you can come back to—no matter where you are in your business development—to remind yourself how business competition can be advantageous, and how you can tap into all the benefits of competition.

  • Brand Positioning: If you position your brand alongside the competition (i.e. offer exactly the same thing, in exactly the same way), your business will not stand out. It will struggle with awareness, recognition and general visibility. Instead, focus on what is unique about your brand and highlight that in all campaigns and communications. Competition is one of the few things that will ‘force’ your brand to be unique…which will benefit you in countless areas.
  • Metred Growth: As you strive to compete, your business will grow. That’s almost a rule. You see, when the competition is in your peripheral vision, you will inherently strive to stay out ahead of them—to find gaps and fill them, to deliver a service in a more convenient or efficient way, to offer more comprehensive customer service—and in the interim, you will attract more loyal customers, who will refer your business to others, who will join in…and grow your brand. I call this ‘metred’ growth because it’s not growth just for the sake of ‘getting bigger.’ It’s managed by competition, not by ego, and is therefore more likely to be supported by common-sense decisions and a slow, but steady, expansion in capital. After all, no one wants to be caught trying to beat out the competition and going down in flames in the process.
  • Out-in-Front Development: Brands that copy others will never make their mark. Instead, they will be known as followers with no real competitive edge. When you compete against other businesses that innovate, you will feel compelled to innovate ahead of them. What does this make you? The most innovative innovator…and there’s no better place to be than out in front.
  • Customer First: When you have a healthy view of competition, you’re less likely to compete in the all the wrong ways. Engaging in a price war is one example of doing it wrong. An example of doing it right is focussing on the customer, rather than the competitor; that means making decisions that will better your brand by improving the customer experience, rather than taking the competition out at the knees. This keeps your business ethical and beneficial for you, your customers and your industry.

Is the way you view competition starting to change? Does it bring less of a cringe, and more of a smile to your face? I certainly hope so, because competition has the power to be one of the things that make your business, and your brand, great. Use it to better yourself. Use it to better serve your customers. And use it to make the world a better place for everyone.

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Wisdom & Spirit

A Fight for Life – Or, rather I mean Tomatoes!

Squirrel remi-skatulski-101224

Seriously!!! These squirrels or chipmunks or whoever is stealing my tomatoes… STOP!

I’m struggling to be kind and compassionate. I’ve been stolen from. My privacy has been violated. My dreams stolen. My plans ruined.

A few days ago there were 7-8 tomatoes, one just about ready to pick. It was perfect, no blemishes, very red, I could almost taste the juices of it. One more day, I said to myself and it will be ready.

One more day later – it’s gone. Lock, stock and barrel as they say – no signs of it anywhere. Jeez… I’m beyond disappointed. We were going to have BLT’s for dinner. I was ready, my mouth was watering… My husband was going to be sooo happy! Then – bam, it’s gone.

It’s not right!

The next day – two more totally green tomatoes have disappered. I really don’t want to share. I really am living in lack and limitation and “It’s MINE”.

 

Then this morning, there is one tomato left and this one on the railing of the deck.

Seriously? What are you doing??? Taunting me?

I thought we were safe, up on the deck, away from the ground. I thought there would be respect for private property. I guess I was wrong.

I think I’m needing some of my own advice – about Falling Into Ease.  Maybe I’ll go listen to one of my Facebook LIVEs.  Want to join me there?

 

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Language of Love

What To Do When Your Marriage Feels Hopeless

what to do when your marriage feels hopeless

I hear this comment almost every week, ‘It’s hopeless, my entire marriage is a mess, it’s utterly pointless’. Perhaps you are feeling this right now as you live day in day out in what is slowly becoming a loveless marriage.

Take a step back, let’s look at the aerial picture, it’s not the entire marriage that is hopeless, it isn’t every moment that isn’t working, it’s a part that perhaps you just can’t see a way out of.  The key here is to be able to refocus yourself on your feelings, what IS working for you, what IS working for you both and then see what changes can be made.  At the moment all you see is a pool of negativity with seemingly no way out, with perhaps the following words are coming to mind –

  • My relationship will never get better
  • Nothing works anyway, why should I even bother to try
  • I will never have what I really want
  • I’ll never be happy
  • The whole world is against me

And perhaps this sheer hopelessness has started to impact on other areas of your life so you don’t bother with your friends, you don’t care about your diet or your body and then you just feel worse as you spiral downwards. Are you resonating so far?

Having been married for 28 years we’ve had periods of ‘hopelessness’ so I know what this feels like, where you think, with all this going on right now how can we ever be happy again. Well, the truth is you can and Ian and I have never been happier than we are right now. The beauty of the work that you can start doing today is it only takes YOU to change your behaviour! In this post today I want to give you hope, that you can do this, so trust me so far.

First of all, before we look at the marriage itself we need to take a look at you and get that self-confidence, self-worth and strength back inside of you.

Remind yourself the marriage is not over, it’s a rollercoaster, as I’ve said many times, and we’re just at the bottom of a wave right now – you can be on top of that surf again.

  • Focus on all the positive things about yourself, when a negative thought comes to mind say cancel/cancel.
  • Learn to stay in the now practising gratitude, meditation or simply pinching yourself to stay present.
  • Put yourself first, this is a self-less act, do things that make you feel good, reminding yourself that ‘You are enough’.
  • Do things without expectation, just because you can.
  • Stop trying to change your partner, he sees life very differently to you, he is wearing different spectacles.

Now you’re feeling a little better about yourself that self-confidence growing and you feel a little more worth it’s time to start looking at the relationship.

Accept him for who he is – you don’t have to like and support everything about him but accepting him exactly as he stands right now gives you the freedom of mind to react to him the way you feel is right for you.

  1. Listen to understand – when your husband speaks to you try and put yourself in his shoes, not coming out with an answer you have been forming whilst he’s speaking.
  2. Agree with him – it is his opinion, to take the sting out of an argument agree with his opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s your opinion (you are not a doormat either), it means you are understanding him. If he asks for your opinion, give it, otherwise, don’t.
  3. Work out what five things will make your partners’ life better; if you’re struggling with this, simply ask him and make a point of writing them down and achieving at least one a week.
  4. Start hugging and kissing again, show compassion towards him, show him you care. Surprise him because you can, not because you want a reaction from him. You take charge.
  5. Feeling better about yourself you can now start to put the marriage first, in front of the children, taking time out for you both, making your time alone important, doing perhaps a hobby together, working out a joint goal, meals out, the cinema, whatever it is, make the two of you a priority.
  6. You take the lead in all of this, don’t wait for him, you show him by your behaviour and do it because you can and want to, not because you want something back from him. It may take time but that’s fine, you didn’t get into this overnight did you?
  7. Learn how to share your inner thoughts without being scared, always stick up for him in social situations, do not threaten him when arguing that you will just leave and lastly you be the one to take the lead in love – you show him.

Long-term relationships are a roller coaster, they can be difficult, they do have their hard times but it’s from these we gain that strength to face the challenges that life throws at us. Don’t throw away your relationship because you don’t know what to do and feel in total despair, there is always hope, do something different this time; it will be worth it. Don’t be alone either, reach out and ask for help, it will be the most courageous thing you have done to date.

As always I love to hear from you.  Ladies come & join us in our wonderful caring, non-judgmental FB group – ‘Let’s Talk Relationships & Life’ – https://www.facebook.com/groups/relationshipsandlife/. Can’t wait to meet you!

Take the Relationship Quiz & find out where you are in your marriage – https://louisearmstrong.clickfunnels.com/relationship-quiz

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Innovation & Business

Master Your Facebook Live – Top Tip #5

Yael Rose – Top Tip 5
Master Your Facebook Live
TOP TIP #5:
WHAT IF I FREEZE?
Blacking out is a real fear and definitely can happen in the beginning. Here is what you can do to avoid it:
  • Go ‘Live’, go ‘Live’, go ‘Live’.
You black out because you are nervous or anxious.
The more you do it, the braver you will become. It will be just like speaking to a friend. You don’t black out with your friends, right?
  • To start with, forget about who’s out there. Pretend you are doing a video just for yourself on your phone.
  • Do a few ‘test’ ones. ‘Hi everyone, this is my first time, I’m testing it’… that will get the pressure off and hopefully, help you get used to doing ‘Lives’.
Let me know what you thought and if you used any of these tips. Good luck!
Yael xx
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Hints & Tips

The Blessing Of Sitting Up: Five Simple Strategies For Living With Chronic Pain

Mandala paving stone before

I am no stranger to chronic pain, primarily related to my spine and especially my head.

Low back pain started in my twenties, when I replaced running with walking as my morning exercise. Low impact aerobics were better than no impact aerobics as far as I was concerned.

In my early thirties, recurrent neck and upper back muscle spasms, as well as arm weakness/ numbness/ tingling led to a neurosurgery workup. The myelogram that confirmed a herniated disc also resulted in severe complications (Dural tear and chemical meningitis), leaving me with a 24/7 headache that last three years.

Yes, three years. Yes 24/7. Unrelieved by medication. Relieved only by sleeping.

I would eventually undergo surgery, a cervical fusion, and three months later the headache was gone. Oh, sweet blessing of joy!

A couple years later, my “myelogram headache” returned, the result of another neck disc herniation. Treated with epidural steroid injections – three courses of three injections over the period of three years – I finally stepped away from my beloved Operating Room nursing. When people asked me if I missed the OR, I replied that I missed the work, but I did not miss the pain. I also liked to say that you can take the nurse out of the OR, but you can’t take the OR out of the nurse.

Life went on. Pain came and went. I lived with my degenerative disc disease, what I jokingly referred to as SFD (shit for discs) syndrome, and managed, with daily stretching and strengthening exercises, to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Which in the last twelve years has included international travel to over thirty countries and three adventure treks. Yes!

In early May, I slipped on damp pavement, became briefly airborne, then fell flat on my back. I received a free extra-large ice cream cone for my troubles. It was delicious.

And, indeed, my troubles began again. Brought to me by, among other spine problems, bulging discs and nerve root compression at multiple levels in my neck and lower back. And, worst of all, the return of my myelogram headache. My 24/7 companion. Still unrelieved by medication. Not a surgical candidate, I am currently undergoing physical therapy.

Some days, my bed and my exquisite down pillows offer the only relief from the pounding jarring pain in my head. It is a blessing to be able to sit up, even more so to move around and undertake simple household and outdoor activities.

I consider myself an expert on chronic pain.

Ever seeking the path to optimum health, and knowing that optimum is a relative term, I offer these five simple strategies to promote your best wellness possible.

Ill, Still, Chill, Fill and Will.

ILL: Accept, with love and compassion, that you are ill.

Stop resisting the pain; rather, play with the idea of leaning into it, accepting it. Accepting and loving yourself just the way you are.

Be aware of the sneaky side effect of chronic pain: difficulty concentrating. Don’t beat yourself up about this. It’s the way things are.

Place your hand(s) as close to the source of pain as possible and offer gratitude for all the times in your life that this part of your body sustained you and kept you going. Then offer compassion for the dis-ease you’re experiencing, and hope for better days.

Pace yourself. You likely have good days and bad days. Honor each of them. Be especially grateful for the good ones.

 

STILL: Be still and allow yourself time to rest.

Remember, you are not being lazy. Chronic pain consumes huge amounts of energy. And it also produces stress, a key culprit in many illnesses.

Take a realistic look at your commitments, and adjust them accordingly to free up more time.

Learn to say NO.

And learn to go slow, or at least as slowly as your life circumstances allow.

If necessary, arrange for someone to watch the kids for thirty minutes so you can rest in quiet. An over-the-ears noise reduction headset, soft calming music, and eye pillow offer added respite, even if only for a few minutes.

 

CHILL: If possible, chill the area of pain with a cold pack or gel.

If warmth feels better, use that.

You can use a frozen bag of peas or select from numerous products available online for both hot and cold therapy. Gel pads are my favorite.

Important! Be sure to limit use of hot or cold packs to twenty minutes at a time, waiting two hours before reapplying.

 

FILL: As much as possible, fill your time and space with that which nourishes you.

If you need help, ask for it. You are important and you deserve support.

Look around your space. What about it could you change, within reason, that would make you feel better?

Turn off the news. It’s an energy drainer. I like to say if it’s important enough I’ll hear about it on Facebook.  Speaking of Facebook… if you are a regular, pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. Move on from posts that drain your emotional energy. Give yourself permission to step away, unfollow, leave.

Turn on funny and inspiring YouTube videos. Here are some of my all-time favorites:

·       Laughing Babies: https://youtu.be/L49VXZwfup8

·       The Nutcracker by Kodi the Cat: https://youtu.be/obtfsA0oIKk

·       Dog Wants a Kitty: https://youtu.be/kI4yoXyb1_M

·       Paul Potts Sings Nessun Dorma: https://youtu.be/1k08yxu57NA

·       Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent: https://youtu.be/RxPZh4AnWyk

·       Amira Willighagen – O Mio Babbino Caro: https://youtu.be/qDqTBlKU4CE

·       Piano stairs – TheFunTheory.com: https://youtu.be/2lXh2n0aPyw

 

WILL: Use your will power in the direction of health.

You may have to live with chronic pain the rest of your life. Yet remember, joy lives here too.

Make healthy choices about what you put in your body, trusting that your body will respond with better health. By the same token, if you’re having a really bad day and that sweet treat will soften your distress, enjoy it. My motto: moderation in all things, including moderation.

Move as much as you safely can. Take a slow walk. If that’s too much, move around the house. If that’s too much, move around on the sofa or in your bed. Contract and relax your muscles. Still too much? Then imagine walking, imagine moving, imagine contracting and relaxing your muscles

Ask your doctor for an order for Physical Therapy. Those PTs have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to promote support and healing.

Be willing to release that which no longer serves you. Are you holding on to items or beliefs you no longer need? Clearing the space in your head and your home allows the creation of a new, healing flow.

Your pain may or may not change; your heart and spirit definitely will… for the better.

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