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Archive for the ‘Visualization’ Category


Have you ever noticed those people…


They always think they will get the sickness going around
They just know there will be no parking spaces
They worry that their kids may get hurt
They worry about someone not liking them
They fear the weather is going to be bad
They anticipate the job promotion going to someone else…


And pretty much, they are the ones getting sick, always late, who’s kids constantly have problems, and they never, ever seem to get that raise.


And then there are those people…


Who seem to walk with their head in the clouds,
Never worried about a thing
They never use Purell
They let their kids run around the neighborhood streets
They feel friends with everyone
They assume they will get the promotion
They wait until 2 days before Christmas to see if the hottest toy is available…


And pretty much, they never get sick, their kids are happy, they always get the job, and they consistently seem to serendipitously be in the right place at the right time, whether it’s a parking place or the store that found two more Cabbage Patch Dolls.


Your thoughts and beliefs are ENERGY


Mental energy is POWERFUL


Take a look at your life…it will show you EXACTLY what you are thinking and believing. If there is an aspect that you don’t like, it is likely coming from your OWN MIND. Our beautiful lives are constantly giving us feedback. Take this week to pay attention to what it’s trying to tell us.


If you could alter one part of your life, what would it be?


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I first started writing, reciting and visualizing my intentions when the economy hit the skids. Our family company was deep in the thick of the mess and I felt my world start crumbling down. Everything seems to be evaporating before my eyes, and my mind was churning over the negative possibilities.


At that same time I was listening to an interview of Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Success Principles. He (and most successful people) gets up every morning and visualizes his intentions. Intentions are intimately connected to the law of attraction: when we have sincere, passionate intentions, the universe goes to work. Something really resonated in me that day and my intention writing began.





When you think about it, we would never go on a long journey without planning ahead. So many of us, however, forget life is a journey that deserves the same level of thoughtfulness. Often, we feel the same feelings, are stumped by the same problems, and are reliving the same patterns over and over again. We see point B but don’t know how to get there. The great thing is, we don’t have to know how to get there yet. We just have to set our intentions.


Intentions are perfect when you know you want to change something, but you don’t know how or don’t have control. Intentions shift thoughts and beliefs, and when that happens, anything is possible.


The key to writing good intentions are:


  1. Keep them short and easy to repeat. Intentions need flow off your tongue easily where you can recite it over and over to yourself. If you keep stumbling over words, change it.
  2. Keep them positive. Rather than say, “I don’t yell at my kids” say “I treat my children with kindness” or “I laugh and have fun with my kids.” Our minds tend to pick up on the negative words (like “yell”) which defeats the purpose.
  3. Keep them simple. Some people have very specific intentions, like “I exercise 5 times a week.” Others have very broad intentions, like “I am healthy and full of energy.” Either way, keep it simple. I prefer to keep my intentions broader and less specific. I don’t want to limit how the Divine Universe may want to help fulfill my desires. There may be a bigger, better plan that I do not see. So, when my son was struggling in school, I chose to say “My son thrives in school” rather than “My son gets good grades.” The subtle difference is that I didn’t decide that thriving HAD to mean good grades. I left it open to many possibilities.


Once you have written a handful of intentions, you need to broadcast them. Pick a time every day (the morning before the kids get out of bed is best for me) and recite each affirmation over and over while visualizing what that feels and looks like. For example, during my panic stage when I mentally repeated my intention that “I have more than enough money,” I visualized what I would like to do with my money, like going on family trips together. Not only did I visualize what it looked like, I tapped into what it felt like. At first this is hard and feels contrived, but as you do it more and more, the feelings and images come very easily.


Each intention will only take a minute or two to visualize until you feel like moving onto the next one, so the entire process will take less than ten minutes a day. As your intentions are imprinted and feel finished, you can drop them and add new ones. My new intentions are:


  • I am open to big changes
  • I am a kind and compassionte mother
  • Answers and ideas come easily to me
  • I inspire people


I hope this inspired you to plan for the next step in your life! If you ask the top leaders, entrepreneurs and athletes in the world, most will tell you they are doing some form of intention writing and visualization. And that’s because it works, plain and simple.


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We were running late for a production at our local children’s theater that happens to be located in a shopping mall.  As I approached the main parking garage, I was horrified at the line of cars just trying to get in.  I was probably 10 cars back from the entrance to the garage and who knew how far from a parking place.

 

I’ve been teaching the kids visualization for things like illness and sports, but at this desperate moment I thought, why not a parking space???


So I told the kids to close their eyes and visualize us driving into the garage and finding a spot right away.  I told them to see our car as it come upon an open space and feel the sensation of excitement when we pulled into it.


I kid you not, all the cars drove forward, deeper into the garage, apparently assuming they would have to go up a level or two.  I made the first turn into the closest aisle, and hidden behind a support column was a space 3 cars in from the entrance.


All you naysayers can roll your eyes all you want, but I’m a believer.


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Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was particularly great (probably because it wasn’t at my house!  Thank, Ann).  None of our relatives were in town except my mother-in-law, so we invited another orphaned family to eat Thanksgiving dinner with us.  They have four girls that match up almost exactly with our kids and they played together nicely for hours.  Dalai Dan and I always marvel at the calming effects girls have on our boys.  They are like snake charmers…


Now, I’m getting off track.  What I really wanted to talk to you about came from a conversation I had on Saturday with Dalai Dan.  We actually had a date night and were able to discuss all sorts of things, one being my Thanksgiving post.


I’m not sure how it started, but we began to talk about that stressful day and I explained to him how aggravated I felt.  He obviously sensed it and said my post didn’t surprise him.  And then he said, “I don’t know why spending time with your kids would make you so stressed.  It’s sad.  There are moms out there that would die to be able to be in your position.  Relatively speaking, you have it pretty easy.”



No, girls, my head didn’t spin and Dalai Dan is, in fact, still alive.


But, it brought up an interesting discussion.  I explained to him that when he is with the kids, it can be all fun and games.  He doesn’t have to get anything else done.  I, on the other hand, am having to gets snacks, turn over laundry, do dishes, reply to emails, and check homework.  He, on the other hand, comes home from work and is finished.  His attention and focus can be on the kids.  He can just be with them.



Then he said, “Why can’t it be like that with you?  The dishes will get done sometime.  The laundry will still be there.  Why can’t you let it go and just have fun?”


There is no reason why I can’t.  I was speechless.  The only thing I could say was, “You’re just better at that than me.”


“Better at what?” he asked.


“Better at loving life.  Sometimes I forget.”



I swear that is why I married Dalai Dan – his good nature.  I exercise, eat well, visualize, meditate…so that I can live in the moment and enjoy what life has to give me.  It comes so naturally to him.



His words reminded me that I have strayed a little off course.  Sometimes my type A personality strives to get things done.  Check things off lists.  I need to rein that Big Boy in and remind it that the work will still be there.  I can allow myself to enjoy my kids.  Why would God have given them to me if it wasn’t to have fun with them?  Does anyone else out there have to be reminded to have fun???


 

 

 

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Are your hands often cold, even when it isn’t cold outside?  Do you find you have dry mouth a lot?  Would you describe yourself as having digestive problems?


Those are some of the more obvious signs of a body in a fight or flight state.  Our brains are wired to deal with acute stress in much the same way it was wired thousands of years ago:  to help you survive a life and death situation.





Dr. Moira Mulhern, of Turning Point, gave a talk about the science behind stress, the emotional response, and meditation to an intimate group of my friends (she is such a great speaker, I’ve posted about a left-right brain talk she gave here).  We all have heard that meditation is good for us, but Dr. Mulhern explained WHY and HOW it helps.


First, you have to understand that our brains are still fairly primitive.  The prefrontal cortex  (I have talked about before herehere and here), which governs our reasoning and judgment, is a relatively new part of our brain.  Our emotional brain, on the other hand, has been refined over thousands of years.  Even though our “reasoning” separates man from apes, we are still wired to have all information come into our emotional, primordial brain FIRST, then pass onto our “rational” prefrontal cortex.


Thus, when we encounter a stressor, it passes through the hypothalamus (which governs the fight/flight response) at the base of our emotional brain.  They hypothalamus immediately sends signals to our bodies to get ready to fight for our lives, even if our lives are not in danger.  These signals are sent before our rational, prefrontal cortex can logically analyze the situation and descern we are not being chased by a bear.  It was just 4 noisy kids all yelling for snacks at the same time.





The signals set off a string of hormonal responses (like increasing adrenalin and cortisol) that result in these symptoms:


  • Pupils dilate to let more light in
  • Air pathways dilate to let more air into the lungs
  • Saliva becomes sticky so it doesn’t flow into the lungs
  • Blood vessels in the skin constrict so the blood can coagulate, therefore your hands and feet get very cold.
  • Blood leaves the intestines and goes to the skeletal muscles to prepare you to fight or flee for your life.
  • Heart pumps and blood pressure rises
  • Breathing becomes shallow
  • Palms of hands become sweaty


So, now your body is in a fight/flight state, which is ok as long as you are able to recover in between events.  The problem comes when a person doesn’t realize they are in a continuous state of fight/flight and the constant symptoms start to cause bodily damage.  We call this adrenal burnout.  In some cases it can even manifest in chronic disease like fibromyalgia and cancer.


The interesting thing about our brains, however, is that reason cannot reverse the state of fight/flight.  Remember, we are wired for information to travel through our emotional brains to our prefrontal cortex, not the reverse.  We cannot send a signal to our emotional brains through rational thought. (which explains why dieting can be so difficult!)  The only way we can access our emotional brain is through right brain activity.  And guess what one of those right brain activities is?  Meditation!  Here are some other self-calming techniques you can try:


  • Repetitive prayer or self talk – the repetition of a word, sentence or simple prayer over and over.
  • Repetitive physical exercise like running
  • Breathing exercises
  • Visualization: Imagining yourself in a peaceful, clam place
  • Listen to calming recordings or music


If you practice one of these techniques for 10 minutes, five days a week (don’t just wait until you think you are stressed!) you will become more in tuned to your body’s stress symptoms.  Just like a muscle that has been exercised, the mind-body connection will strengthen with every minute of mindfulness.  Not only will you feel better, calmer, and happier – when a really stressful situation presents itself, going back to your practice will calm you down almost immediately.  We are just like Pavlov’s dog:  once that connection has been made, our brains are like putty in our hands…


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You know how you sometimes get that funny feeling? It comes from inside our body, faintly telling us a message. The message can be as little as “I should move that cup of water” or as important as “I just can’t trust that person.” Do you listen to it or does that glass get knocked over?


The craziest thing happened to me today. It actually started a couple weeks ago. My oldest son, Max, went to Camp Lincoln. I realized that he needed to be picked up the same day our overseas guest was headed back home. I was so sad Max and I would miss saying goodbye to her.


A quick glance at her itinerary, however, gave me an idea. It looked like she wasn’t leaving Kansas City until 5:30 in the evening. If I could pick him up a few hours early, or maybe even the night before, we could make the 9-hour drive back in time to say farewell. I called the camp and they said they would check and see if that was allowed and get back to me.


In the mean time, I relayed the great news to our friend and she informed me that her flight from New York was at 5:30, but her flight from Kansas City left in the morning. I must have looked at the wrong line. Bummer! No reason, now, to pick up Max early since it wouldn’t help us make it in time for her flight.


So, flash forward 5 days. It is Monday at noon (today) and I am due to leave Tuesday morning to drive 9 hours in order to be able to pick Max up at the 8am Wednesday pick up time.


Then, I realized something: camp never called me back about confirming if my early pick-up time was allowed. It didn’t really matter, I thought, because I wasn’t planning to now. My brain told me not to bother finding the number and the person in charge of that stuff. What was her name, anyway?


Another nag. But, what if Max was told I was coming early and he was waiting for me? Something wasn’t sitting well in my stomach.


So, I called, found the lady in charge, and told her I didn’t need to come early, I would be there at the regular time on Wednesday. “You mean tomorrow?” she said. “No, tomorrow is Tuesday, I won’t be picking him up early,” I explained again. “But, Tuesday is the pick-up day,” she said.


HOLY MOTHER F*****! It is now 12:30, and I need to leave RIGHT NOW just so I can get to Nisswa, MN, by 10pm!


I called my husband, threw my crap in a bag, got a babysitter there in 30 minutes, and was on the road by 1:00. So, here I am, in a Days Inn that has tape securing the pealing Formica furniture, and I THANK GOD for it!


I have been getting better over the years to trusting my inner voice, and this is one of those times when I rocked it. Good thing, because I don’t think my sweet, serious son would have ever fully recovered from being forgotten by his mother. I would have been paying abandonment psychotherapy bills for years…

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