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Author Archive for Joan Courtney

A Happy Person

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

—Hugh Downs

Duff here. There are times it’s a Challenge to be a Very Small Dog. I take eight steps or more with Each Step of Mom’s. Of course, that counts for the fact I have Four legs. But I persevere, knowing We will both get to Our Goal. And return in fine Style. Now, Mom’s People are from Iowa farming heritage. Good steadfast Stock, which is kind of like Me. I have been pleasantly Surprised during this Unsteady pause. Mom is honing Skills She didn’t even know She had. Pivoting Plans for the Future. Able to turn on a dime. Being persistent. That’s living unstuck.

But first, She got a bit bogged down with the Topsy Turvy World We’re in right now. So She took a look at Her stinkin’ attitude. (Mine is always stellar.) Much as her Farmer Ancestors did over Winter, She sat back and Took Stock. What needed to be Done. What could wait. Then She grounded herself, and We were back in Business. She got her Attitude right, and She is Happy again. That made Me happy too, you know. Living unstuck.

How about You? Is this the Time to wallow a Bit? Then get Your Attitude right? It’s almost as if You’re on a Stay-Cation. What are You doing with the Days You have? I say: Make the most of Them. They will be Gone before You know it. And I’m here to Cheer You On! Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#

The Blue Cheese Caper

Duff photo

Duff here. The other day, Mom opened the Refrigerator. And Immediately, a Foul Odor came rolling out of Its Bowels. Mom made a Stench Face, and I immediately had to Come over and Investigate. I stood next to her as She Cleared out the Fridge, cleaning as She went. (The Cold Box probably needed it anyway.) My goodness, We had a lot of Stuff in there. Prepared for the Millennium, I’d say. Living unstuck.

She placed Everything back inside the fridge and closed the door. Our Job was done! But the next time We accessed The Fridge? The Nasty odor was still there. How could that Be? Once again, all the goodies came out. We even sampled with a Taste or Two. Then back in and close the Door. Still a scent, but Mom got wise. She looked at the Container of Blue Cheese. The Lid was askew. Problem solved. Mom and I were both Amused. Snapped on the Top. All was well. Living unstuck.

How about You? Have You faced a Problem and thought it Solved? But it wasn’t? I say: Stick with it. It all works out in the Long Run. (And You might even get some tasty Samples along the way.) I have found this to be True. #unstuck-living#smelly-stuff

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.

—James Michner

Coronavirus Anxiety?

A lot of us understandably feel anxious about what’s doing with Coronavirus. Fear about getting sick. Panic about not having enough food and supplies. Concern about work or school. And just plain uncertainty about how it’s going to play out in the coming weeks and months.

All of these thoughts lead to anxiety. And what to do about managing this mental monster? While I’m not a scientist or epidemiologist, I do know how to help people relieve anxiety. If we’re going to get through this in good shape, we need to find ways to be centered and focused. And that means not adding more anxiety to an overflowing pile of worries, what-if’s and maybe’s.

Here are some tips on how to manage your anxiety during this stressful and uncertain time:

  • Be okay with your fears and worries. Sure, this is a scary time. Trying to deny this won’t do you any good. And beating yourself up for feeling afraid is a losing proposition. Self-compassion is the key. Use it daily.
  • Worry? Or problem-solving? First, decide if this is something you can control or not. If it is, make a plan and set it in motion. If not, stop and ask yourself: Are my thoughts helpful? Am I moving forward? You’ll know what to do from there.
  •  Be careful with your media consumption. Binge-watching coverage on Coronavirus? Check and see how you’re feeling. If you’re ramping up on anxiety, time to change the channel. Perhaps cartoons with the grandkids? Cooking shows? Ice Road Truckers is one of my favorites.
  • Connect with good friends. Isolating is typical when anxiety strikes. But even 15 minutes of good conversation with someone you love and enjoy can do wonders to dispel that pesky emotion. Set up FaceTime with relatives, especially the elderly.
  • Get going and move. One of the best antidotes for anxiety is physical movement. Do yoga. Take the dog for a walk. Dance around the room. (I did this with the Duff yesterday. He wasn’t really sure about the whole thing, but soon got in the swing of things!) Push-ups? Stretching? Lunges? Knee bends? Whatever suits your fancy will help.
  • If you feel helpless, do something helpful. Okay, so you’re in a situation you have absolutely no control over. And you feel helpless. Brainstorm what you could do for others. Have an elderly friend? Give them a call or FaceTime them. Your favorite restaurant is having a hard time with cash flow right now. Buy a gift card, and use it later or gift a friend. Check with your neighbors. Perhaps they can’t get out and you could drop off groceries.
  • Sleep is good. The best remedy for anxiety is slumber. From physical activity to monitoring feelings to logical thinking, it’s hard to be on top of your game if you don’t sleep well. Keep your regular schedule, for change, in itself, is disruptive. Set your alarm, and when it goes off, you are up and at ‘em. No sleeping in! Snoozing in late increases feelings of fear and anxiety.  
  • Time to stretch your mind in different ways. What about that old hobby? Want to learn a new one? Time to dust off the keyboard, flex the fingers and strike a chord. Or pull out the jigsaw puzzle. It’s easy to get paralyzed by fear and anxiety. Choose instead to fill your mind with positive tasks and constructive activities. You’ll be glad you did.
  • This, too, will pass. This challenging time won’t last forever. If you use these tips, you will have strengthened your mental muscles, developed new strategies, and established new options. Good for you! That’s living unstuck.

Anxiety out of control? Unstuck Living can help you get back on track in 1-3 sessions 90% of the time. Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is not therapy. It is an easy and tested way to help people end old patterns and get unstuck. Learn to use your mind more effectively to make good choices.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact Joan Courtney at (928) 367-8208. Bringing over 35 years of experience, Joan is a highly qualified Neurolinguistic Programming practitioner and clinical hypnotherapist. In a confidential way, she uses that knowledge to help her clients quickly become no-limit-people.

Resilience Over the Years

Love many. Trust few. Learn to paddle your own canoe.

—Vanilla Beane, 100-year-old milliner

Duff here. Recently, Mom and I watched an interview with The Hat Lady, 100-year-old Vanilla Beane. What a woman! Think of all She has seen in Her Life: From horse and Buggy to the Space Shuttle, and everything in between. Born in the South, She followed her Sisters to Washington D.C. and began work as an elevator Operator. There was a Millinery Shop in the same building, and Vanilla got intrigued with Making hats. She tried her hand at That and After retiring from a GSA position, started to create these lovely custom-made Confections. (I wonder what Kind of Hat She would design for me?) She lived unstuck.

She began with small Brim hats in the 40’s and has changed with the Fashions through the Years, even to the Unusual Shapes for the Kentucky Derby. For six decades, Beane and the crowns She creates are a must-have in D.C.’s African-American church-going community. Her shop, Bene Millinery and Bridal Supplies is a legacy, and She still works alongside other family members, 6 days/40 hours a week. That’s living unstuck.

Vanilla’s Mom gave Her the Advice in our Thought For The Day when She was a little Tyke. Those phrases have served Her well all these years. And Resilience is Her Watchword.

How about You? Were You given Words to Live By as a Little one? Or do You make them up as You go? I say: Think back to the Wisdom handed down to You. More often than not, You have relied on the Energy of those Words for many Years. Keep on! Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#steadfast

The Magical Little Things

March is here. And once again, this month is having a hard time deciding: is it springtime? Or is there still a touch of winter? Balmy days with gentle breezes may herald an early spring for a little while. Then wham! Mother Nature sends a blast of winter, filled with colder weather and sharp, biting winds. Not quite time to put away the winter jacket and boots. But it is time for some spring cleaning and laundering those lighter-weight clothes.

My emotions are like a weather vane, swinging from one direction to the other. When it’s warm, I feel energized. And then the temperature drops and I am ready to cuddle into my cozy place. What to do?

The easiest way for me to get through this “in-between season” is to notice the magical little things. When I take a look at those everyday items, they take on a life of their own. They almost glow in their splendor. What kind of things? Let’s take a look:

  • Occasional wildlife. I walk in the early morning, long before sunrise. Yesterday, I felt someone watching me. As I looked around, I noticed a young buck elk with just a few antlers. He was standing very still in a neighbor’s yard, observing me as I rounded the corner. That’s a delight.
  • Christmas lights. I work at walking 10,000 steps during the day. If I start early with 7500-8000 of them, I can easily make my daily goal. (Some mornings, the walk is more of a challenge than others.) Now, I realize it’s March, but a couple of kind neighbors have left their Christmas lights up. One of these sparkling arrangements is on my home stretch and lets me know I’m near the end of my wanderings. Those twinkling colors brighten my day.
  • Songs of birds. Birds are slowly beginning to return to the Mountain. I see them swooping and diving, playing with each other are they sing and glide along. Sometimes, wee little birds gather together in a bush and create a happy cacophony of tweets and twitters.
  • Meeting with friends. What a delight to get together with friends! Some I have known for a longer time, and we are very comfortable chatting away. The other day, though, I joined some ladies I had met but did not know well. Such talented women, overflowing with energy and laughter! Time to expand the circle of friends before the business of spring.
  • Special mailboxes. When I’m out and about, I notice mailboxes that are genuinely out of the ordinary. One friend loves to fly and her husband made a biplane out of their mailbox. Imagine! And another? Bright pink with blue polka dots. I smile whenever I see it.
  • The greening of trees. Some of our trees are turning a spring green. You know what I mean. That light shade of green letting me know that in spite of cold rain and hail, spring is on its way. When I see these stately trees, I’m filled with the hope of change.
  • The poof of Duff’s tail. MacDuff is a Bichy-Poo-Shi-Tzu, a Bichon Friese/ toy poodle/Shi-Tzu mix. This pedigreed mutt has a white poof of a tail that moves energetically back as forth as he trots along. And oh my, does he move! As I mentioned, it’s the smaller gifts that brighten the day.

To get through this “between” season, notice the little magical things and enjoy the wonders around you. That’s living unstuck at its best!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Duff here. On this day, I think Everyone needs a Touch of Shamrock.

The luck of the Irish to you and yours!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mud hole, check your back pocket—you might have caught a fish.

—Darrell Royal

I Ate Your Homework

A ferocious concentration and fanatical execution is what you need to finish strong.

—Gary Ryan Blair

Duff here. Oh, that Cousin Hortense! She was such a character, in Her own right. Such a Charming Disposition and She never met a Stranger. Even the most Difficult of persons (and Canines) quickly warmed up to Her. She was Adventurous, ready to check out Most Anything. And She would Play at the drop of a Hat. Living unstuck.

However, She had one Little Drawback. Only One. Hortense loved to destroy Pages of paper. Books. Newspapers. Letters. IRS notices. Spiral bond notebooks. Tax information. Homework was Her favorite. She would carefully Steal whatever Object struck Her fancy, then stealthily slink away to her Doggie Bed. Once there, She would rip and Tear, shredding and decimating as She went. (I specialized in Kleenex, but She was the Pro.) When Caught, her Winning Smile won anyone over, as You can see. How could You be Upset with a Golden Girl like That? Living unstuck.

How about You? Have You worked On a Project, only to have it Destroyed by Another? How did You react? Anger? Or Laughter? I say: Go for the Chuckle. And keep those Paper Goods Way up high when Hortense is around. Just sayin’. Live unstuck.