Have you been up-set or set-up? Three Master Keys for Emotional Mastery.

 In my experience nothing slows me down and sets me back more then being emotionally upset and falling back into a reactive pattern that leaves me regretting my behavior. It can take me hours and even days to get back on track. So its critical for me to avoid these pitfalls in the first place. I want to note that we all experience emotions differently and this may not be true for you. Some of us can roll with the punches with much more ease. But if you find yourself being set back because of upsets here are some keys that will turn things around.

Especially when doing a cleanse we’re no longer able to rely on food as a substitute for covering over emotional pain. Food and other substances are crutches that prop many of us up and keep us from digging deeper and relying on our inner resources. Also on a cleanse greater sensitivity can arise which is truly a gift but not an easy energy to work with.

These keys are from author Micheal Brown of The Presence Process. We hosted Michael numerous times at our ClearPoint Retreat Center.
Key #1. Dismiss the messenger. See this up-set as an opportunity to look under the hood of the emotional pain. Don’t play the BE-LAME game. When we blame someone else for the way we feel we’re only hurting ourselves. Take full responsibility for the quality of your experience and become aware of the pain and wave of thoughts that it spurs. This is easier said than done but yet again hit the pause button and notice how you may want to jump down someones throat or go run away and hide.
 
Key #2 is to stay in the heat and practice containment. This is where you contain the pain, hold it within the emotional heat with out breaking into re-activity, which is noting more then playing the same old act over and over again. So you sit and note your discomfort. This alone will expand awareness and emotional intelligence. It can be helpful to journal about your mood and feelings.
 
Key #3 is discernment, which is the ability to judge well. Am I over reacting, is this really about the other person or is it an old pattern surfacing for me? When I’ve collected my self do I need to bring this situation up or can I let it go? We all want to be seen and heard, we want to feel safe to express what is on our hearts. But there is a time and place for everything. 
 
Here is story that beautifully illustrates the value of these keys.
 
The Good Points
Standard Oil was once one of the biggest companies in the world, led by the famous John D Rockefeller. On one occasion a company executive made a bad decision. It cost the firm $2 million. This was the late 1800’s and $2 million was a huge sum.
 
Edward Bedford, a partner in the company had an appointment to see Rockefeller. When he entered Rockefeller’s office he saw his boss bent over a piece of paper, busily scribbling notes. When Rockefeller finally looked up he said to Bedford, “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss? I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man in to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.”
 
Bedford looked across the table and saw the page Rockefeller had been scribbling on. Across the top of the page was the heading, “Points in favour of Mr __________.” Below the heading was a long list of the man’s good qualities, including notes of three occasions where he had made decisions that had earned the company many times more than his error had lost.
 
Bedford later said, “I never forgot that lesson. In later years, whenever I was tempted to rip into anyone, I forced myself first to sit down and thoughtfully compile as long a list of good points as I possibly could. Invariably, by the time I finished my inventory, I would see the matter in its true perspective and keep my temper under control. There is no telling how many times this habit has prevented me from committing one of the costliest mistakes any executive can make — losing his temper.”
 

GroundHog Wisdom

Our furry friends are truly wise. They know how to dig deep, have many avenues, know their boundaries and also build community.

Groundhogroundhog_peeking_out_of_holegs burrow below the frost line and slow down their heart beat to 3 to 4 beats a minute. They hold the line between life and death by entering into a deep state. They are one of the few animals that go into a true hibernation. If they need to escape, the tunnel network that they build holds many avenues and opportunities for freedom. When they stick their heads above ground and if there’s some one encroaching on their territory they let out a loud screech to let everyone know about it. They’re also community builders, with such a vast network of tunnels other animals will take up residence to keep safe and dry.

Groundhogs are awesome!

Need a little Self Control through the Holidays?

Here is a simple tapping sequence that can help you curb a habit of overeating. Whether you’re dealing with a weight issue or not, every celebration is marked with food and drink so it’s easy to overeat.

What I like about this tapping tip, which comes from Dr. Roberta Temes, is the ease of use. You don’t have to go through the entire tapping sequence and can do this one inconspicuously.

I also find it helpful to set an intention of moderation before an event with lots of food and also debrief afterwards with how I did.

On the image below you’ll see the collarbone point.

First take in a nice deep breath.

With your right hand tap with four fingers on the collarbone point while repeating the following affirmations. Or choose one that really resonates. Repeat the sequence 3 to 4 times.

“Even though I see lots of food, and it looks so good, it’s OK to not eat it”

“Even though I would like to eat when I’m not hungry, I’ll use self control”

“Even though I don’t think I have any self control, I’ll pleasantly surprise myself”

“Even though I LOVE to pig out, I except myself”

“Even though food is calling me, I can use self control”

 

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Please note. Food is to be enjoyed, savored and is a huge part of our social fabric. It may take some time to develop self control, the important thing is not to beat yourself up to badly if you lose self control and indulge more that you wanted to.

Here are ten reasons why you don’t want to overeat:

I will live longer
I will be less irritable
I will have more energy
I will develop a better relationship with my body
My skin will thank me
I will get better sleep
My eyes will be brighter
My teeth will be healthier
My thinking will be clear
My body composition will be more balanced

Let me know if this helps?

All the BEST!

 

 

 

Art of Connection! Sales Training!

The Art of Connection starts with ourselves and being self honest with the way we feel. Here is a word cloud from Daniel Pink author of the book, To Sell is Human on the most common thoughts that arise when people think about sales:

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There are many people today in the helping fields that are in sales, when someone hands you a check or cc you’re in sales, either you’re offering healing, health coaching or a product or service. Many have challenging thoughts and feelings around the sales process. In Art of Connection we used energy clearing techniques to clear these obstructions and affirm that to sell is service and it can come from a place of connection and fun.

Today’s Adolescence!

I often share with my wife how incredible it is to be with our two babies.

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Leo’s first day of preschool.

How precious they are at this time- and enjoy it now because when the teen years hit, we’ll just have to grin and bear it.

Where did I get this idea? This idea that adolescence is to be endured, not savored. Maybe it was my own teen years as I think back to what a struggle it was for me and for my parents. I realize in this moment and also from the latest research that it doesn’t have to be this way for my children and as a parent I’m going to enjoy and relish every stage of growth for my kids. In many ways it’s an opportunity to relive parts of my own childhood that I felt were incomplete.

I wish that I learned to play music, sing songs, camp, and fully develop as a boy scout. It is my regret that fuels my desire to offer something better for our children.

 

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I’ve been asked to offer a talk on Stress reduction at a local college, a classroom full of adolescence. The research is insightful, exciting and also disturbing.

Our youth will be adolescence for more years than ever in the history of humanity. Children today reach puberty earlier. A study by Dr. Marcia Herman-Giddens found that in 1860, the average age of the onset of puberty in girls was 16.6 years. In 1920, it was 14.6; in 1950, 13.1; 1980, 12.5; and in 2010, it had dropped to 10.5. Similar sets of figures have been reported for boys, albeit with a delay of around a year.

According to Dr. Laurence Steinberg of Temple University the factors that lead to early childhood puberty are obesity, chemical exposure and artificial light. So our children are entering adolescence earlier and entering into adulthood later. Most work opportunities require employees to have a bachelors degree and millennials desiring to land great jobs are opting to stay in college longer and requiring the assistance of family for a longer duration.

So I’m planning on a long period of almost 15 years of living with our adolescence. So what makes their brain tick?  How can I optimize this experience for myself and for them? What are huge pitfalls to look out for?

The first seven years of development is so crucial, this is when a child’s emotional foundation is being poured. A child at this age is like a sponge soaking up its environment with no filters, it just takes it in with no questions.

What is key to understand is that the developing brain is highly active all throughout adolescence. This brain is highly plastic. Think back to periods of your life. Your 40s, 30s, 20s and teen years. When you land upon your teen years the memories may become much more vivid and alive. Its because the adolescent memory is recording similar to HD. So many momentous things happen during this period, even mundane events are remembered better.

The adolescent brain is incredibly sensitive to experience and reward, you could say that it is super plastic. Its a major time of vulnerability, research has shown that if a child is exposed to drug use before the age of 14, they are 7 to 10 times more likely to become addicted later in life.

There has been a huge push for health education with our youth. The good news is they know a lot more about health, but they still don’t act on what they know. It’s because these reward centers of the brain are so easily aroused, good things feel so good.

Much of what we’re exposed to in popular culture may feel good in the moment but often leaves a toxic residue that needs to be dealt with later.

Dr. Steinberg believes that what needs to be awakened in adolescence is self control and better choices around what they find pleasurable. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain, or whats known as the CEO is where self control is found, keep this protective measure sound and we can safely get our children to twenty six which is a magic number to keep them in usually in the clear around developing any major mental conditions like depression or even suicide. In astrology it’s know as our Saturn return.

So how do we foster self control and awaken their inner CEO? How can we help them feel good naturally?

Here are five keys:

1) Exposure to novelty, challenge and learning to stay with things until they are finished or understood. This exposure primes the super plastic brain.

2) Help them discover signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than themselves.

3) Improve their Mindset: It turns out that what mainstream culture says about adolescence or what’s called the boomerang generation doesn’t match with science. The popular idea is, this group is lazy, self absorbed and needy. They live with their parents too long, have their heads stuck in some device and are anti social. I’ve even heard that this generation with be the first to not outlive their parents, due to poor diets and lifestyle choices. BUT what the research says is that adolescence today has more empathy for others, concern with success at work and have a greater awareness of leaving a better world behind for their children than previous generations.

4) If a child does need intervention or therapy the earlier the better. Therapy is not just for issues and problems, today theirs a movement called Positive Psychology lead by Dr. Martin Seligman of Penn State University and that’s about discovering lifelong happiness and fulfillment. Not just mere survival or the acquiring of material wealth.

5) Be both firm and flexible. Its a tight rope as everything matters for them from social activity, sports, novelty, challenge, good nutrition and deep sleep.

As a parent understanding this changing world and its new dynamics is key, knowing how my child develops is also super important and will assist in avoiding certain pitfalls or even worse placing unnecessary shame upon children. Being a parent is challenging but being a child navigating today’s world is even more challenging because of their vulnerability. We are all responsible in seeing that humanity evolves and that we’re good care givers for the future.

 

 

Seek first to understand.

A long time ago I read a statement that said, “seek first to understand, then to be understood” Turns out it comes from Steven Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I’ve been using this process lately with my son Leo. He’s 2 and it’s challenging to understand what he trying so hard to communicate. When I’m tired and feeling rushed I don’t always follow this advise, but I have found that when I do it can alleviate trouble and frustration later. So its certainly a more efficient use of my time plus its more loving. Working with his emotions and flowing with them rather than forcing my will upon him. When he feels understood it’s like a light bulb goes off as he acknowledges my understanding with a “ahhh” sound. Almost like an inhale that relaxes his little body and settles his state. Thanks Steven Covey for putting Habit #5 out into the world, even though I read it years ago, I’m finding it useful as grow myself as a father.

 

Students Get Grounded!

This photo is from a presentation I did at Eastern Connecticut University. A class of students were grounded for five minutes. Below are some of the responses.

 

“It felt like an hour”, “I can breath deeper and I feel less constricted and tight in my chest”, “I feel energized, before I went out I was feeling tired”, “I have no more pain in my hip, it was there all day”, “I have no more pain in my shoulder”, “I have less twitching in my eye” , “I feel a sense of oneness”

Contact with the ground has a cooling effect on the body. The electrons that coats the ground gets pushed up into the body to balance the bodies bio-electric field. We live in a world with lots of inflammatory conditions, or you could say a body on fire. Grounding helps to keep the fire from burning out of control.

Another exercise was creating a Chi “Energy” Ball to sense the electromagnetic field of our bodies. After the subtle body was awakened the students then worked on sensing the field of another student. One student was asked to share something they love in life, this will make the bodies field grow stronger, they were then asked to share something that they didn’t like about life. You can feel the energy field shrink while someone is complaining or recalling something that they don’t like.

Topophilia.

Came across this word today. Wikipedia definition is as follows (From Greek topos “place” and -philia, “love of”[1]) is a strong sense of place, which often becomes mixed with the sense of cultural identity among certain peoples and a love of certain aspects of such a place.

I’ve lived in the same town for nearly 40 years of my 48 trips around the sun. I’ve gotten to know intimatly my community, back roads, places to hike, bike and swim. I know extraordinary places to go iceskating and where to harvest spring water. I can get lost and found on our many back roads. Its great to experience deep roots and to happily share it with others.

My parents moved us to Stafford Springs when I was in forth grade and purchased a ten acre farm that abutted a vast state forest. My mother, being brought up in the suburbs, was not happy with the move but grew to love this town and the people here. It was my father who instantly fell in love with the farm house. I was able to freely roam with my brother Corey, our dogs hunter and holly and our grey cat fisher. Fisher would follow us for hours roaming through the endless forest and trails that inhabited our region. I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to experience the freedom of being able to explore and roam for hours. As a parent I’d have a hard time letting my children go off. I know too much now of all the so called hazards and worries. For my parents before the age of Facebook and CNN (Constantly Negative News) there was more of a care free attitude and it was ok for kids to wander off and even get lost. I read recently that the average child todays spends seven minutes out doors and nearly eight hours a day staring into screens. Many families are forced to move in search of work and often don’t get to experience that sense of place. I also see where people have lived in my town for years but hardly ever step foot into the surrounding forests.

Today I’m still able to go back into those same woods I wandered as a child. Thankfully they haven’t changed much, actually its even wilder than I remember, I guess fewer people spend time hiking in the woods. My memories seem so clear as if I witnessed them in HD. Winter time and heading back to a pond that was hidden along side an abandoned dirt road. We’d carry our shovels, skates and hockey sticks to clear the long and narrow stretch that made it perfect for hockey. We could also skate along the river in between the trees where the ice would freeze over the wetlands, sometimes feeling the ice crack beneath us. There was such a freedom and exhilaration to it.

To get to know the woods, to be in a natural and wild environment is something that I will always carry with me. I have Topophilia a place of home.

My son Leo and daughter Rinde were both born here in Stafford Springs. My wife and I don’t plan to leave, we’ve found our home and it feels great knowing that they’ll have life long friends, that they’ll get to know these woods, swimming holes and places to skate that very few others know about.

 

Are you bent out of shape?

I recently attended a Sacred Esctatics Retreat at Omega with Bradford Keeney. Bradford spent many years living and learning from the Kalahari Buhman and considereds them to hold sacred truths and the oldest ways of connecting to god. They connect to god through what they call ropes. These ropes are like super highways that when straight allow them to recieve deep insights, visions, estatic vibrations and healing potential. Ropes become bent when arguments, anger, jealousy or other strong emotions start getting out of hand. Since there no where you can run or hide when you live with a tribe, especially one that in one of the driest and remote areas of the world, you have to find a way to clear and straighten the ropes.

So if an elder see’s some discord among the tribe they will declare it time for a dance that will straighten and clean the ropes. A dance starts with clapping, singing and movement that starts a process of looking abit like a worm on a hook to tease the life force and make your self look appetizing to the gods. You want to be caught. Once the catch begins it sends surges of tremors or shakes throughout the body, heat starts to rise in the body and you get what they call spiritually cooked.

Brad says much of our spirituality has become ice cold or far to mental. We talk about spiritual things but often miss out on a deep and profound connection to spirit that can some as spiritual lightening which is also known as NON-subtle energy. A force that takes over the body with spontaneous movement, crying, sounds, vibration or even laughter.

So when you’re feeling bent out of shape maybe some clapping, dancing and shaking is in order.

Healthy Body-Wealthy Life!