Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Reminder About Patience

If you're anything like me (or most of us, for that matter), patience is an ongoing process that takes constant practice and gentle reminders. What could better exemplify the difficulty and the reward of patience than this image:
Some things just take time...and they are worth waiting for!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Surprise of Chinese Bamboo

I learned something exquisite today:

Have you ever seen or walked through a bamboo forest? The stalks of bamboo are enormous; towering above our human height by 30, 50, 100 feet. It appears, however, that once the seed has been sown for these incredible trees, nothing apart from a tiny shoot can be seen for about five years' time. During these five years, all of the plant's growth takes place beneath the surface where a highly complex root system reaches in all directions, establishing itself. Then at the end of the fifth year, the tiny shoot begins to shoot upward out of the soil and grows up to 82 feet!

Imagine the patience, persistence, and trust it must take to wait those five long years with no perceptible growth. Now, imagine all of the growth you have within yourself that has yet to be realized...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How Nervous is your Nervous System?

We all know what it feels like to be nervous. 
Anxious. Jittery. Fired-up. Antsy. Stressed. Startled. 

The image above shows just part of the complexity that is the Nervous System in our human bodies. This is the system that red-flags us to let us know that we are unsafe, unsure, or unstable. We need this system to keep us protected and regulated in this hustle-bustle world we all live in. Though important, it is also crucial to know how to tame the nervous system so that it is not constantly in alarm-mode. Here are some skills to use to chill yourself out:

-4-Square Breathing: Breathe in to the count of 7. Hold your inhale for 5 counts. Breathe out to the count of 7. Hold your exhale for 5 counts. Repeat 10 times.

-Talk to someone who listens. Processing stress can help eliminate it. 

-Call to mind a calming color, and imagine breathing it in with each inhale. Then imagine breathing your stress out in the visual form of smoke with your exhale. Do this for 10 breaths with your eyes closed.

-Plug in to your iPod or other music device and listen to calming music.

-Sensory Presence: Notice 5 things you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel in this present moment.

-Soak in a warm bath (with lavender aromatherapy if you have it) or shower.

-Take a break from technology. Believe it or not, the screens of our TVs, phones, computers, etc. can actually stimulate our nervous system. 

-Blow off steam with exercise. Not in the mood for a full-blown workout? Try a 15 minute walk.