Monday, December 22, 2008

Contribute to your own greatness!

I live moment to moment and see greatness all around me, especially in others. When asked about my greatest achievement I am stifled. Greatest? Really? Are they asking me to nail down a particular life accomplishment like childbirth, writing a best selling book or climbing a mountain? If that were the case I simply couldn't choose.

If asked "What would you say contributed greatest toward your success?" I could easily answer: learning to live in the now. It allows me see and enjoy the wonders around me. It allows me to see the beauty in the person beside me.

Sound corny or 'earthy'? Consider the person who has had a near death experience. They have a greater or even new appreciation for every moment in life. They live each day as if it were their last. You too can have the same exhilaration for life without the near death experience.

Try it... it is GREAT!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Journal the Way

My daughter recently asked me what I write about in my diary. Grinning, I realized that my journal is the equivalent to her diary. I told her that I mostly write about my personal thoughts as they relate to me ( i.e. what I think, I believe, I desire and I feel). And yes, I write about boys too: my husband and son. I feel journaling is great start to figuring out "what's up?" when things don't feel right .

I confess, I am an on again off again journal writer. Daily journal entries do not exist in my book. Whew, I'm glad that's off my chest. Many people are reluctant to start a journal because it might add to their mental failure list. The usual statement is, "I don't want to start a journal because I wont keep it up." Well what does "keep it up" mean? Nobody writes the rules for your journal use but you. Let the leader in you decide when you will write.

Beware, your decision to express free-will does lead to inner and outer greatness. Others may notice your personal growth and see you as leader in your own life. You are constantly modeling the way for everyone around you - no pressure.

My actions are modeling the way for the next generation. My daughter feels no pressure to write daily. I did not ask her what she writes in her "diary." Again, model the way and respect what the personal thoughts of others. I believe she has greater ownership in her thoughts by simply writing them down.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Coping with Holiday Stress

Would you believe it is not so much money, family or time that stresses me out this time of year? Instead I am tormented by all the edible goodies. Everywhere I look there is some yummy morsel calling my name. I swear I hear the truffles using both my first and middle name to get my attention. As if the smell alone wasn’t enough.

Coping skills that actually address the problem are considered most effective for relieving stress. Actions taken toward removing obstacles, restraint and self-control are just some examples.

I ask my husband to keep the cookies at work and hide any treats he may bring home. The kids have Advent Calendars and would know if I snuck (stole) a precious itsy bitsy piece of chocolate. So, I’m pretty safe at home. Action to remove the cause of my stress effective! “Out of sight out of mind.”

Then I went to my book club and the coffee table was piled high with cookies, cake and chocolate candy. I swiftly switched to restraint mode! But the act of restraining was causing me more stress – this coping skill was proving ineffective. I would have to switch to an emotion based coping method before I could take effective action.

Coping skills that do not necessarily address the problem but reduce the stress are considered emotion based. I could distract myself by actually being fully present to the book discussion. I could also find some humor in the situation. Or I could completely deny my weakness as well as my adrenalin rush.

I t was easier than you might think. I leaned over to my friends and declared the chocolate sitting in front of me was talking louder than all the rest of them put together. We all laughed. I ate one and in my best Scarlett O’Hara impersonation said, “Please, take them away.” As I sighed with relief I was joined by a chorus of sighs. What do you know, I wasn’t the only one stressing out about that darn chocolate.

Have you ever considered how many different coping mechanisms you use in any given day? There are many causes of stress and many ways to cope. Some more effective than others. The same ones don’t work every time. Knowing varying forms of healthy coping mechanisms can save you unwanted wrinkles and possibly your life. Even the sharing of learned coping skills with others is often beneficial.