Google+ Followers

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In The Silence



In the Silence

"Listen to the rhythm of your own silence….

As we journey once more toward the darkness of winter we are called back inside, into the quiet stillness of our inner life. Here we are meant to rest, to listen, to regenerate and deepen our connection with the silence from which all life springs. From this conversation with the silence, we emerge fresh, a birth." Lee Bryant

Silence is the womb of all creation


This lovely 'In the Silence' poster sent to me by my sister-in-law, Lee Bryant, served as my meditation focus for today. From the simplicity of the 'In The Silence' title to the pictures to the 'listen to the rhythm of your own silence' my mind flowed into the silence.

Lee Bryant~one of the two artists in the exhibit~ is my sister-in-law, as well as the sister of my heart. Living on San Juan Island in Washington, Lee creates art that takes me into the silence ~ and leaves me calm, serene and refreshed.

If you'd like to enjoy a healing journey this winter, take a trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Stay at a bed and breakfast. Go to the Saturday Market. Visit the Lavendera Day Spa to view the gallery showing of 'In The Silence' November 7th through January 1st with Paintings by Cynthia  Church and Lee Bryant.


Silence Is

God's poet is silence! ~Joaquin Miller

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.  ~Henry David Thoreau

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi


Silence is a source of great strength.  ~Lao Tzu

Susan Meyerott, Artist


Sign Up for Free E-mail updates

For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

Do you know someone who could benefit from uplifting messages? Please share Lightarted Living with them. If you or someone you love is interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Letting It Go: Tension is Who You Think You Should Be; Relaxation is Who You Are


'Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.' Buddha

To Let Go of Stress You Must Find 'IT' First

Have you ever stopped to think about the words 'IT' and 'STUFF'? 

IT and STUFF are two great words that allow us to tip-toe around naming what's bothering us. 'It's bothering me' or 'all this stuff is getting to me' are lovely non-specific descriptions that allow us to remain socially polite and seemingly still in-control as we voice our tension to others. But if we are to successfully deal with the stress we must move beyond the diffuse terms keeping us mired in a cesspool of fear and anxiety--and stuck--unable to move forward.

To let go of the stress that's 'putting you over the edge' or 'getting on your last nerve' you must be able to identify IT. If you just ignore or deny IT's existence you leave those things eating away at you to boil and fester until they spew out and splatter everyone around you.

Finding IT

  • What's happening in your life at this moment? 
  • What's making you feel tense?
  • What do you feel you should be doing you're not?
  • How are you failing to live up to someone else's expectations or your own?

 Looking over the last three days, what's stressing you out? Pick one situation to describe in uncensored detail in your head--and let it rip! 

As you focus on the recent tension-inducing incident notice any changes in your body as you merely think about IT. What happens to your heart beat and breathing? Do you notice any discomfort in your head or stomach? Are you aware of clenching your teeth or tightening your jaw; tension in your neck, back or other muscles? Do you feel tearful or angry?

Our stress-inducing experience has the ability to cause tension as we merely think about IT. We don't even need to experience IT to bring the stress-response on. That's why it is so important to name IT and all the STUFF that's bothering you--so you can STOP STUFFING IT.





Get Back to Who You Are

'Tension is Who You Think You Should Be; Relaxation is Who You Are'  Chinese Proverb

What does this mean? It is living in the 'world of should'  that creates the tension and discomfort throwing us into a mental fog and leaving us feeling overwhelmed and tense. 

If you care about being your healthiest, most robust self, choose to consciously identify what's causing you tension and bringing out the full stress-response in your body. Name IT and choose to engage in actions that puts you back living in the relaxation state of who you really are.

Trust yourself to hold the key to being your best self. Act on what you know to be right for you. Take the steps that will help you feel fully alive, fully productive, and fully engaged. Be brave.






Sign Up for Free E-mail updates

For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.


If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Overwhelmed? 3 Tips for Surviving Change and Staying Healthy


Each moment of my life is new, fresh and vital
 Susan J Meyerott artist

'Our actions shift perspectives, whether it be your own or others.' John Edwards

Stop the World I Want to Get Off! 

Recently my life has felt overwhelming due to too many life events and changes. In just the past month I've been touched by the loss of a loved one; major illness, surgery and hospitalizations for friends and family; layoffs for family and friends; and changes at the workplace for me. 

Like you, when I deal with too many changes at once, the ensuing anxiety and emotional fog tends to kick common sense and a clear vision for what I need to do to regain my balance and energy right out of my consciousness. 

Despite being a Health Promotion Professional skilled in helping others move through stressful times, when I'm faced with times of rapid change I, too, must stop to recall what I know about keeping myself healthy during these highly stressful times. 

It's taken me a month to see my way through the fog--but here it is: Three (oh-so-obvious-in hindsight) actions that are helping me regain my balance and putting me back on the road to health. 


I breathe in 'uplifting' into my heart
I breathe out "calmness' into my gut
Grant Soosalu
Susan J Meyerott, artist


Action #1: Calm Yourself through Conscious Breathing 

'Just Breathe'--I know it sounds hokey...yet it is the very first step to pulling yourself out of the anxiety and stress. 

When our heart rate gets above 100 beats/minute in a non-exercise state our brain gets fuzzy. That is the emotional fog we experience due to our body's response to the stress.

Granted, when you're in a highly stressed state it can be amazingly difficult to begin conscious breathing. Sometimes you just have to keep practicing it--all the while 'acting as if' you believe it will calm you down. It will--just do it. 


Practice slowly and consciously breathing in and out--thinking 'I breathe in uplifting into my heart' and I breathe out calmness into my gut'.


Everything is (secretly) okay
All is well in my world
Susan J Meyerott, artist

Action #2: Name Your Stressors

As major life events piled up sending me into overwhelm mode I knew I needed to get a handle on what I was dealing with. I needed a simple way to name what was going on and the Holmes-Rahe Life Change Index was just what I needed.

The Holmes-Rahe Life Change Index is a straightforward inventory of life events that measures the number of 'life change units' for the events and includes both 'good' and 'bad' changes, with 'death of a spouse' worth 100 units and getting married worth 50 units. 

While the life change inventory does not cover all changes we might experience, it provides a good indication of the level of stress and the resultant risk for changes in our health status in the year ahead.

Like me, if you've been through significant changes this year, take a moment  to assess your score on the Life Change Index.

How to Use the Homes-Rahe Life Change Index 

Using the index below, identify changes you've experienced in the last year and add up the total life change units to see what risk category you're in for experiencing health problems in the next year.

Holmes-Rahe Life Change Index 


Life event
Life change units
Death of a spouse
100
Divorce
73
Marital separation
65
Imprisonment
63
Death of a close family member
63
Personal injury or illness
53
Marriage
50
Dismissal from work
47
Marital reconciliation
45
Retirement
45
Change in health of family member
44
Pregnancy
40
Sexual difficulties
39
Gain a new family member
39
Business readjustment
39
Change in financial state
38
Death of a close friend
37
Change to different line of work
36
Change in frequency of arguments
35
Major mortgage
32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
30
Change in responsibilities at work
29
Child leaving home
29
Trouble with in-laws
29
Outstanding personal achievement
28
Spouse starts or stops work
26
Beginning or end school
26
Change in living conditions
25
Revision of personal habits
24
Trouble with boss
23
Change in working hours or conditions
20
Change in residence
20
Change in schools
20
Change in recreation
19
Change in church activities
19
Change in social activities
18
Minor mortgage or loan
17
Change in sleeping habits
16
Change in number of family reunions
15
Change in eating habits
15
Vacation
13
Christmas
12
Minor violation of law
11

Holmes-Rahe Life Change Index and Your Health
Score of 300+: At risk of illness. 80% chance of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate. 50% chance of illness.
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

What Do the 20% Do Differently? 

What category of risk are you in for developing health issues in the next year? What's your score?

Me? I scored well over 300 life change units putting me in the category associated with an 80% chance of getting sick with a major illness in the next year. 

So does that mean those of us who score over 300 are destined to get sick with a major illness in the next year? Or if you scored 150-299 that you are part of the 50% who will get sick?

No! What it means is we must pay attention to what we do in the next year if we want to be part of the other 20% or 50% who stay healthy despite the onslaught of changes.


While 80% of the people in high risk group got a major illness in the next year--what about the 20% who didn't? What did the 20% do differently that helped them avoid getting sick in response to too much change? 



A Cheerful Heart is Good Medicine



Action #3: Let Go of Things that Don't Matter to You; Take Charge of Things that Do 

The problem with experiencing too many changes at once is it makes us feel like everything is spinning out-of-control. 

This out-of-control feeling can lead us to two ineffective extremes--giving in to a feeling of helplessness in which we're powerless to affect change; or taking on a hyper-vigilant stance in which we frantically attempt to maintain control over every aspect of life. 

Both extremes--a sense of under-control or over-control--are associated with poor health.

Good health--despite high stress and high change--is associated with having an optimal sense of control over your life. What does this mean?


People who stay healthy despite experiencing a lack of control in their lives share one perspective in common: They feel they have control over the things that matter to them. They don't try to control things beyond their control (i.e. death) and they don't try to control things that don't matter to them (they choose their battles). 

As John Edwards says "Our actions shift perspectives, whether it be your own or others." Take the actions that will shift your perspective and put your life back in balance after everything seemingly falls apart.

When Life throws you too many changes:

1. Acknowledge the Changes.
2. Sit quietly, release judgment and lower expectations.
3. When in doubt, do nothing.
4. Avoid making major life changes for the next year.
5. Find a way to feel like you have control over the things that matter to you. Focus on what matters most to you, and take action on the things that matter.


I speak and act with a calm, bright heart
Susan J Meyerott, artist



Sign Up for Free E-mail updates

For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.


If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.














Saturday, October 4, 2014

Feeling Betrayed and Bitter? Let it Go


Today my soul is cleansed of hurt and bitterness
Susan J Meyerott, artist

'Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.'  Robert Brault

What Hurts?
·                  Who or what has hurt you recently?
·                  What do you feel bitter about?
·                  Where in your heart of hearts do you feel life has done you wrong?

Sometimes Life Lets You Down

Ah, Life. Sometimes it lets you down. That job you wanted that slipped through your fingers; that love interest who did you wrong; that organization that treated you poorly; that economy that failed you; or that friend who slighted you without apologizing.

Sometimes things happen that leave you feeling betrayed and bitter. That's okay--acknowledge and name what you're feeling--and sit in your sorrow for a while. But when you're ready to brush yourself off and get back on top of the world, let it go. 
I speak and act with a calm bright heart
Susan J Meyerott, artist


You're Made of Strong Stuff 

Face it--you're made of strong stuff and you want to enjoy a fully-engaged life. You have what it takes to move through whatever challenge life presents you--and you're worthy of enjoying a rich, meaningful life.

Think about it--how is that hurt and bitterness you're harboring inside getting in the way of you engaging in or enjoying your life? What good things could you see in your life if you let these soul-killing feelings go?
  • Have you failed to apply for a job because you're bitter about the last job interview
  • Did you fail to ask that new person out because the last one hurt you?
  •  Have you isolated yourself because you are hurt or bitter about how someone treated you? Have you refused invitations to get together with friends because you're home licking your wounds?
  • Is that bitterness about making less than you deserve getting in the way of you appreciating the good things in the job or zapping your energy to look for a better paying job?


When you consciously cleanse hard feelings out of your soul you make room for more uplifting and positive experiences to come into your life. You can see current opportunities in your life when you stop wasting your energy on maintaining the hurt and bitterness. So don't stuff your feelings; cleanse them.

 'The soul has been given its own ears to hear things that the mind does not understand.' Rumi

Write on your heart that every day is the best day of the year
Susan J Meyerott, artist


Do You Care Enough About Yourself to Let it Go?

'Forgiveness is a funny thing—it warms the heart and cools the sting' William Arthur Ward
The question is, do you care enough about yourself to let it go? If yes, make today the day you affirm 'my soul is cleansed of hurt and bitterness'--and take a step toward doing something affirming that fills you with feelings of self-worth, fulfillment, and connection to life and others. You are worth it. Do it now.
  

'Toss your dashed hopes not into a trash bin but into a drawer where you are likely to rummage some bright morning.' Robert Brault

Sign Up for Free E-mail updates

For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.