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Archive for Release

A Holiday Gift for You

Jingle bells, pinecone smells
Bringing stress today.
Oh, what fun it is to slide
Through all the holidays.

Jingle bells, Christmas bills
Will this ever end?
Where to now? We’re almost done
So we can party with friends.

Dashing through the snow,
Lists clutched in each hand
What to get with dollars stretched
And please the merry band?

Holiday Stress

In a frantic state of mind during this holiday season? Stressed? Frustrated? Expectation of a Hallmark Christmas dashed once again? Often, these icky feelings are exaggerated by fears of the future and memories of the past. Too many commitments, flu or illnesses, and stretched wallets can compound this mixture. You already know you create stress through your own perceptions and self-induced pressures. Anxiety about an imagined future event, that troublesome family member at the dinner table, out of your control? Sure heightens tension and takes away fun times, doesn’t it? More than four hours with family members? Time for a break. Memories of holidays past with loved ones who have passed can lead to depression. You can implode with fatigue and grief.

Gift Yourself Peace of Mind

Want to slow down your pace and gift yourself with peace of mind this season? Here’s a simple three-minute process that’s just the ticket. This practice can be part of your life as you tool through town in your car or enjoy your cup of coffee, creating tranquility and an appreciation of the festive spirit around you.

To begin, in a quiet room (or even in your parked car or at your kitchen table).         

  • To begin, in a quiet room (or even in your parked car or at your kitchen table) . . .
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, expanding your rib cage and breathing from your diaphragm. Take a moment to notice what’s happening in your body. Are any parts tight? Heavy? Flow relaxation to those areas as you pay attention to what’s going on inside.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply for another minute. Breathe in pure relaxation. Breathe out all that tension. As you breathe, remember you’re not trying to change anything. You are simply paying attention to what is going on inside you.
  • Notice what you’re saying to yourself. Helpful? Or no longer useful? Focus on the positive and let the rest go. Thoughts may come in, and thoughts may go out; they’re of no concern to you as you drift and float and relax.
  • Listen to the sounds around you. Just listen. No need to identify each one. Notice the silences between each sound. Again, be aware of how your body feels. After a few moments, slowly open your eyes.

This process of mindfulness will allow you to gather your thoughts, relax your body and create a beautiful place of well-being. You can release holiday depression, anger, and out of control emotional responses to family members, allowing you to choose more peaceful options. Those Christmas lights will twinkle more brightly, and you may even find yourself happily humming familiar carols as you go about your day. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

A Crick in My Neck

Duff here. A while back, I woke with a Crick in My Neck. I think We have All had this happen at One time or Another. And it’s Not Fun. Definitely not living unstuck.

So Mom took Me to the Chiropractor. He works on Dogs (like Me). But I was unsure of this Experience. I thoroughly checked out the Office, as much as I could (being 8” off the ground.) It felt Safe, so I comfortably settled into Mom’s lap. The Doctor came in and started to gently Massage My neck. I growled a little to indicate that the area was Troublesome. But He told me he was there to help. In a Short Time, he adjusted My Neck Bones back into Place. And I was a puddle of Relaxation. Tension? Gone. What a wonderful feeling! Living unstuck.

How about You? Has a physical issue bothered You? Then You went to a Professional, who quickly relieved Your problem? I say: Go sooner rather than Later. It will Pay Off Big Time. That’s living unstuck. #unstuck-living#relief-from-pain

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

—Carlos Castaneda

My Favorite Food Bowl

Duff here. My favorite Food Bowl was white, with A Dog that looked just like Me on It. My Replica had on a Blue Cape and was Flying across the Skies. Can You imagine? I loved My Bowl. Living unstuck.

The other day, Mom was preparing My breakfast. It smelled Scrumptious. But Her hand was wet as She picked up the Dish. It fell and shattered into a Million Pieces on the Floor. My Breakfast and My Bowl were all over the Kitchen. I looked so mournfully at Her. That was my Bestest Bowl.

She cleaned up Her Mess. Then another Meal was placed in a plastic Bowl. I took one look and Sat down. Nope. That’s Not it. She tried again and again with two Different Dishes. I turned them all Down. I wanted My favorite Bowl. Then, it was time To Go to Work. She put a piece of Plastic Wrap over the dish, put it in the refrigerator and Headed Out the Door.

I stared in Shock. Where was My breakfast? I quickly checked the Floor and found three Very Small Pieces of Dry Dog Food. That would have to Do. By Dinner, I was ready for nourishment in any Bowl. It didn’t matter. I was so Hungry. Lived unstuck.

Have You had an Attachment to Something, only to Lose it in Some Way? Did You hang on for Awhile? Or Were You able to Release It? I say: Let it Go. After a Time, the Replacement works Very Well. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#letting-go

Update: I now have a New Bowl. It’s sturdy and Green. The phrase “Good Dog” is on one Side. On the other? “Feed Me.” Either Way, I win!

Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.

—Nicole Soban

The Important Things in Life

Forget to remember and remember to forget what isn’t important to you.

—Kathy Walter

Duff photoDuff here. Sometimes, I get wound up in one Important Way of Doing Something. Like: this is the only way to go on this path in the forest. Or this is the only way to get an extra treat. Perhaps this is the only way to let Mom know I need to go Outside. (Now, that’s critical.) And yet, I ponder: what is Really Important? Is Everything of Equal Value? In the Larger Scheme of things, does it really matter how I get an Extra Morsel? If I’m cemented in one Habit, will it matter 100 years from now? As long as I achieve my goal, I can live unstuck.

This concept really hit home the other day as Mom and I were walking through the forest. I took us on a Path that made sense to me: clear, smooth and direct. We got to our Destination and turned back to head to the car. Even though (because of my Innate Sense of Smell), I have the Superior Ability to track us home, Mom decided to Change Things Up. (Remind me to tell you about the time when Mom got lost, and I led her back to the Car. But that’s a story for a Different Time.) We went a different route, even though I kept attempting to move her back to the original Path. Eventually, I gave up and dejectedly followed her. Imagine my amazement when we arrived at the original Starting Post? I was ecstatic. I lived unstuck.

Are you like Me? Get Stuck in a Rut and think that’s the only Way to do Things? A Famous Family therapist once said there were 147 different ways to wash the dishes. And they all met the Objective: to clean the dinnerware. I found that Concept boggling. Talk about living unstuck. I recommend: Try something new. A new way to work. A new food. (Yum.) The Important Things in life demand a variety of experiences. Release the rest of it. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#importanceofthingsinlife

Doing Some Spring Cleaning?

Spring is here. Buds have formed and are beginning to unfold. The peach trees, the daffodils and other small bushes have unfurled their colors. The sun rises earlier and earlier to bring those longer and warmer days. Birds have returned and are splashing around in the pond. Others chirp sleepily in the trees as I take my early morning walk with MacDuff. The sun is shining, but not overbearing. The mornings are still brisk, with a crisp edge to the breeze. The promise of a warmer tomorrow is already there.

As spring moves in, the forsythia with its branches with bright yellow star-like blossoms wave in the breeze. The tiny pink buds of the flowering plum and the white blossoms of the apple and pear trees are all showing their colors. The sun shines through the greening branches, making it hard to concentrate on anything indoors. I yearn to be outside.

Springtime inspires me to clean and declutter my home and yard. Those dust bunnies and cobwebs that have gathered over the winter months are exposed. It’s also a good time to clean out my thoughts and feelings. When I do a mental spring-clean, my life is easier. With ongoing rebirth going on around me in nature, I find it hard not to weed out the old that is no longer useful in my mind, the parts that are keeping me stuck.

At a slow start for the season? Don’t miss out. Here are a few ideas to help you find your way:

  • Get outdoors. Take a walk, begin to clean up the yard or go for a bike ride. Have a picnic, either on the porch or a few miles away after hiking in from the trailhead. Let the soft, bright sunshine lift any heavy, dark thoughts and feel them drift away.
  • Cultivate quiet time. Set some time aside and take a mental inventory. Check out what has been cluttering your heart and mind. Take a planned break from technology and your “electronic leash.” Spend some time to visualize how you want to feel in your life and your friendships. Then take a move to fulfill those dreams.
  • Develop a new skill or learn a new hobby. Perhaps your mind has grown stale over the winter. But how to expand your horizons? Go back in time: always wanted to learn to develop a skill? Weld? Shoot? Or play a harmonica? Go for it. What was your favorite hobby as a child? Pick it up again. It’s spring, the time of renewal. The creative abilities of your mind are endless.
  • Learn to “row your boat more gently down the stream.” At times life seems to come all at once, bringing a compelling need to take care of business right away. But we can move at our individual pace for it will all get done in due time. Make life easier and enjoy more both within and around you.
  • Think more optimistically. Want to boost your immune system? Be happier in general? Look at the bright side of life and find that silver lining in life. Weed out “always” and “never” from what you’re saying; you’ll find the world to be a better place.

I’m curious: what are you doing to welcome spring? How are you spring cleaning, either inside yourself or outside in your home or garden? I’d love to hear. Enter your comments below.

Letting Go

For me this year, autumn, with all its glory, came early. The bright sunshine of summer whisked by and the cooler mornings of fall entered the scene. The first hard frost brought the end of the small, colorful summer flowers. Leaves are falling and piling on the ground. Time to let go and move into a new season.

And with this change comes those particular feelings that fall brings and a reminder of the snow and colder weather to follow. Just what are these “fall feelings”? I want to share a few of the many “feelings” that fill my heart and memory banks during this season.

  • The bright beauty of changing leaves. Bright flashes of red and yellow heralded the season.The first hint of fall’s arrival that made my heart sing was the bright red color of the trees lining White Mountain Road. This festive color began to show at the very tops of the trees, then like slowly dripping paint, started to drop through the rest of the branches. As the days grew shorter, the leaves seemed to change more and more quickly until they were completely scarlet. The willowy aspens, with their lovely yellows and gold of fall apparel, brought a dancing movement to the scene as the wind rippled through the groves on the mountains. Strong winds quickly whisked that fall apparel into the horizon last week, leaving patchy, bare branches.
  • The soft fall of pine needles. As the winds picked up and got more brisk, a carpet of gold and brown pine needles scattered all over the Mountain. As I looked up into the Ponderosas, I saw where the older needles had already turned color, ready for their flight to the ground. There will be time to rake them up in the spring, but for now, they are a reminder of the cycle of shedding and regrowth. The oak trees also showed off their bronze leaves, and they cushion my boots as I hike along my favorite trail. It’s as if all outdoors was getting ready for the changes to come.
  • The scents and sounds of autumn. For me, there is a crisp quality to the air, a dryness to it. The pungent smoke from chimneys and campfires is a reminder of comfort and warmth after being outside, bringing with it the memory of friendships and the cozy sensation of autumn. As the leaves lost their moisture, there was a different sound, a gentle rustle when a gusty wind skipped them along the forest floor. The insistent honking of the flocks of migrating birds was a sure sign of cooler weather on the way.

This is also the time for me to do some “fall house cleaning.” I tend to cocoon in the winter, and it’s helpful to have a semi-clean slate to work from. On a physical level, I take a look at what’s around me, and sort through what I want to keep and what needs to go. If something doesn’t make me feel good, I will find another home for it and gift it along its way. On a mental level, I pay attention to my thoughts. Time to weed the mental garden of pesky negative thoughts and smoldering regrets. Next is the emotional level. This is the time of year for happiness and gratitude. Thanksgiving is coming soon. I can do my part to be grateful for all things large and small in my world. Sometimes I’m more successful than others, but I’m preparing for a bountiful harvest of positives.

Autumn is an opportunity for me to use all of my senses to savor the season: physically, mentally and emotionally. As I remember the magic of warmth with layers of zip up hoodies and lighter weight jackets, I welcome the changing season. You too? Autumn, here we come!

I’m curious: what are your feelings about the fall season? What are you ready to release? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below

I hope I have opened the door to enjoying the little things, both here on the Mountain and in your life.

Bringing over 30 years of experience to her practice, Joan is a highly qualified NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist. She specializes in anxiety, panic attacks, fears, and phobias, using her knowledge to help her clients become no-limit people. Many have found her friendly ways and precise techniques to be the easiest road toward a better life.