Archive for April 2009

flu info is really coming

April 28, 2009

And yes, I’m really working on the post about flu. But it’s, um, growing. I have so much information I’m trying to pare it back to the essentials, but give you all some really actionable information you can not just know but USE. Hope to have it up this week.

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Do You Want To Be Happy?

April 28, 2009

I subscribe to Michaeil Neill’s newsletter over at Genius Catalyst. Good stuff. I loved this latest edition and wanted to share it with you guys. Enjoy!

In 1997, my wife and I watched a documentary called “I Want My Child Back” which followed a family from the United Kingdom and their autistic son through a two week journey to a place called The Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Over the course of that time, the child was engaged in seemingly innocuous play sessions while the parents were involved in dialogues with a counselor/coach about the source of their unhappiness and its role in helping or hindering them from assisting their son in making changes.

When ½ way through the documentary a night-time camera showed their previously incapable, seemingly unreachable child get up and make himself scrambled eggs in the microwave, Nina and I both burst into tears, which continued unabated as we watched parents and child reconnect and begin to thrive at deeper and deeper levels throughout their stay. As soon as the show was finished I found the phone number for the Institute and phoned them. If what I had just seen was for real, I wanted to know everything about it.

Ten days later, I was in Massachusetts doing a week long program for myself, and over the past 12 years I have continued to incorporate the Option perspectives in my life and work. Because the work originated with a man named Bruce Di Marsico and has subsequently evolved into two separate schools, what I share is based on my experience with both rather than on one particular “supercoach” approach…

1. Why are you un-happy?

One of the first statements I ever read by Bruce Di Marsico was this:

The only reason why you are ever un-happy is because you think you should be.

In other words, when you feel bad, it is because you think you should feel bad – that there is some positive benefit to it.

That benefit generally falls into one of two categories:

1. We feel bad because we think it will motivate us (or we are afraid that we wouldn’t act in our own best interests if we weren’t)

2. We feel bad because we think it means something good about us (or are afraid that it would mean something bad about us if we didn’t)

Here’s how I wrote about this in Feel Happy Now:

I will always remember the man who challenged me during a Happiness workshop I was giving in London with a somewhat provocative question over whether I was advocating that he should feel happy about the recent death of his wife.

After quickly pointing out that that was NOT what I was saying, I went on to explain that for me, the question was not whether or not he ‘should’ be happy but simply if he was willing to be – that is, would it be OK with him if he felt at peace with what had happened?

He shook his head ‘no’, so I went on to ask him this question:

“What are you afraid it would mean about you if you were not un-happy about your wife’s death?”

He looked at me aghast. “What kind of a monster would I be if I was not un-happy about that?”

“So are you saying,” I asked, “that your feeling un-happy now is your way of expressing your love for your wife?”

He softened immediately and nodded.

“Is that how you want to express your love for her?” I asked.

“No,” he acknowledged. “But won’t other people think there’s something wrong with me if I’m not miserable?”

Rather than venture forth with my own opinion, I asked him how he would answer his own question.

“I suppose,” he said slowly, “that if they did, that would be OK with me. Because if there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s how grateful I am for our time together and how much I will always love her.”

Is it really true that we are only un-happy because we think we should be?

Honestly, I don’t know.

But whether we have learned to use sadness to express our love, anger to signify our caring, or fear to motivate ourselves to go for what we want, the point is this:

Whatever you can do with un-happiness, you can do better when you’re happy.

2. What are you afraid of?

Probably the second most impactful thing I learned from Bruce’s writings was this:

All fear is the fear that unhappiness will happen.

Think about it – are you afraid of failing, or are you afraid of failing and feeling bad about it? Are you afraid of losing all your money, or are you afraid of losing all your money and feeling bad about it? Are you afraid of ending a relationship, or are you afraid of ending a relationship, feeling fine about it, but feeling bad that you don’t feel bad about it? (Complex, aren’t we?:-)

I remember the first day this really made sense to me on a visceral level. I was waiting to cross a busy road, stepping back involuntarily whenever a car whizzed by, when I realized I didn’t have to be afraid of being hit by a car to not step out into the road. I could take care of myself in this way simply because I wanted to and knew how to – I no longer needed fear to help me do it.

Play with this for yourself by thinking about something you are afraid of – let’s say what’s going on with the economy, and specifically that you might lose all your money and wind up out on the streets.

Now, consider for a moment that you may be less afraid of the consequences of your financial actions or inactions than what you perceive to be the consequence of the consequences – i.e. feeling bad, miserable, unhappy, etc. In our example, this might take the form of embarrassment or shame – after all, what would your mother/father/siblings/grandparents/friends/teachers think if you wound up losing your job and your home?

If you’re not sure whether your fear is more about the event or the feeling, ask yourself this:

If I didn’t have to feel bad, regardless of what happened, what would I choose to do differently in relation to what I had been fearing?

Now if you didn’t have to feel bad or embarrassed about begging on the streets, you probably still wouldn’t want to do it. But chances are, you would also become aware of little (and sometimes big) things you could do to begin taking better care of your money and to create more financial stability in your life right now.

For example, if you had to, where could you find some extra money this week? What things could you do this month to “hedge” against a potential future loss of income?

Please note, this is not “planning to fail” – it is simply overcoming the fear-based inertia of failing to plan for the full range of future possibilities.

Today’s Experiment:

1. Think about something in your life that you are un-happy (angry, sad, fearful, etc.) about.

Example:
My kids don’t listen to me, we don’t have enough money, I hate my job, etc.

2. If I could wave a magic wand and you would be instantly happy in that situation without anything else changing, would you want me to wave it?

In other words, is it OK with you to be happy in that situation, exactly the way that it is?

(Remember, this is not saying you shouldn’t be un-happy about whatever you are un-happy about – it is just a sincere and curious question from you to you.)

3. If your answer was ‘no’, ask yourself either or both of the following questions:

What am I afraid would happen if I wasn’t unhappy about ______?
What do I think it would mean about me if I wasn’t unhappy about that?
Example:
If I wasn’t angry with my kids for not listening to me, then I might never do anything about it. If I wasn’t scared about not having enough money, I might not look for ways to earn more or spend less. If I didn’t hate my job, I might never leave.

4. Whatever you came up with, pick out the positive intention behind it – i.e. the ‘very good reason(s)’ you have for getting and staying un-happy.

Example:
With my kids, I get angry to give myself the courage to confront them about their behavior. When it comes to money, I scare myself so that I’ll take action and do something about my situation.

5. Finally, imagine yourself feeling comfortable and peaceful in yourself and handling the situation elegantly and well. Come up with at least 3 ways that you could fulfill that positive intention without the ‘negative’ emotion.

Example:
With my kids, I could sit down and talk with them calmly – they might actually listen to me if I wasn’t shouting at them all the time.

I could write down what was really important to me for them to get and ask them to sign it when they really understood and agreed to it.

I could make a real point about speaking with them publicly when I wanted to praise them and privately when I had something critical to say.

Have fun, learn heaps, and if you don’t, you don’t have to feel bad about it!

With love,

Michael

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The Flu crisis

April 26, 2009

This new flu is now getting headlines around the world. Dozens are dead in Mexico, many are ill elsewhere. Should you panic? No. Are there things you can do to better prepare yourself to resist the flu? Yes, absolutely!

I’m working on an article on this topic and I hope to have it up in a day or two, so check back. I’ll give you some very practical tools to use to strengthen your immune system, and links to products I use and recommend to fight bacterial and viruses. I’ve been telling people for awhile, especially with the prevalence of anti biotics combined with just how toxic our world has become, and how weakened most people’s immune systems are, there is a reasonably good chance we are going to see a serious pandemic in our lifetime. Your best strategy isn’t to run and hide, it’s to strengthen yourself internally. Don’t look to the medical community for help, and certainly don’t look for a vaccine to save you. You don’t need it and a vaccine may do more harm than good in this case.

Check back in a few days and I’ll have this article up.

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Overcoming the Myth of Stress

April 25, 2009

I’m a fan of a company called Learning Strategies Corporation. They make a lot of great products that I use and recommend, including their Paraliminal series, their PhotoReading and Natural Brilliance courses, and more. I subscribe to their “Healthsparks” newsletter and thought I’d pass on their latest. Good stuff.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Welcome to Health Sparks
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ever feel as if life spins with one crisis after another, making it easy for you to feel victimized and stressed beyond your ability to respond?

How you perceive what is happening in your life is great determinant for how well you thrive and excel. It isn’t the trying situation—but how you respond to it—that determines whether or not you feel and act like a victim.

More and more, stress is reported as a contributing factor to illnesses of all kinds. But you can free yourself from feeling worn down by high levels of stress by freeing your mind from the popular, but mistaken, beliefs about stress.

Dr. Hans Selye, the physician who conducted pioneering research into the connection between stress and disease, apologized in his retirement for one serious mistake.

What is commonly called stress, he said, is really an internal experience of strain. This means that the antidote to the messages about stressors in your life is to experience whatever happens as feelings of strain.

Strain can be beneficial. Athletes build their physical strength with periods of exercise performed at an optimal level of physical strain, interspersed with short breaks, followed by rest.

The same principle holds true in your job and other life activities. According to resiliency expert, researcher, and author Dr. Al Siebert, it is essential that you take brief, relaxing pauses during a never-ending flow of urgent tasks.

Your body has a way to rebound and repair itself from emotional and physical strain. You have a parasympathetic nervous system that works like a secret inner healer when you disengage yourself from all effort. This inner healer works on your behalf when you relax, take naps, feel happy, laugh, play, and sleep well at night.

Take a few minutes every day (starting now!) to relax completely. Sit comfortably, breath in and out with slow, deep breaths, repeat a word of your choice, and let your mind remain silent. You can also listen to a Paraliminal or do a meditation.

Treat any busy situation that comes in your day like a workout at a gym.

Decide to handle each thing that you do with good energy. Then pause and relax between exertions. Your pause may only be eight to ten seconds. That’s okay. Take one long, deep, relaxing breath. Loosen your neck and shoulders. Then engage the next task with good energy.

Try this strain-pause method for a week and notice what effect it has. When you let your inner healer work with your strain, not only will you stay healthier, you’ll thrive and excel!

http://www.LearningStrategies.com/Resiliency/Home.asp

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MSG information

April 22, 2009

I subscribe to the email newsletter from the Organic Consumers Association. I thought this had some useful information and wanted to pass it along.

How to Avoid MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is one of the most common and hazardous food additives on the market. MSG is reportedly more toxic than alcohol, tobacco and many drugs. MSG is an excitotoxin, so it tricks your brain into wanting to eat more and more foods containing the ingredient, even if you are already full. Side effects of MSG include: obesity, eye damage, headaches, depression, fatigue and disorientation. Food manufacturers know that health-conscious consumers try to avoid MSG, so it is oftentimes not listed in a product’s ingredients. MSG is banned in organic foods.

Here’s a list of ingredients that ALWAYS contain MSG:

Autolyzed Yeast — Calcium Caseinate — Gelatin Glutamate — Glutamic Acid — Hydrolyzed Protein — Monopotassium Glutamate — Monosodium Glutamate — Sodium Caseinate — Textured Protein — Yeast Extract — Yeast Food — Yeast Nutrient

Learn more

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An angel in the post office

April 14, 2009

This is a really, really touching story, especially for those of us who have lost a pet that we dearly loved.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1948438/posts

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A new back because of Egoscue!

April 11, 2009

This testimonial came in from our Del Mar clinic (thanks Carmen ).

Bill, if you read this, keep rockin’, brother. Great job and thanks for helping us spread the word.

Here’s Bill’s testimonial:

I have a new back because of Egoscue. As a 55″year”old field geologist I was in fairly good shape but
years of bad posture and increased usage of a laptop computer was making me into a 21st Century
hunchback. Back pain had been mounting for six years and my ability to sit at a computer for an hour or
stand for more than 5 minutes at a time had become monumental tasks. No amount of vigorous
physical exercise or regular chiropractor visits would help. Long periods were spent resting on my back.
In denial, I only grew worse. Only those who have “been there” know how scary this can be.

One day my Pastor heard my groaning. “You need to see Doctor E ,” he said with a big grin. After
figuring out he meant Pete Egoscue I got a copy of
Pain Free, read it, and did nothing. The back
worsened. In desperation I drove to an Escoscue Clinic in Del Mar, California, signed up for a series of 8
training sessions and met a trainer named Mackie. He checked me over and put me through a set of
stretches that was to become my first of eight “menus.” Rather than protesting, my 6’4” frame actually
felt better immediately Against the advice of my well”meaning Chiropractor, Mackie predicted I’d soon
be jogging again on level ground for 30 minutes at a time. “Absurd,” I thought.

This morning I just completed my 30″minute jog which I now do 3 or 4 times a week because my back
loves it
Mobility has returned and I now can work at the computer with little discomfort. The more
seriously I take my stretch menu, the more able my back is to perform in the right posture and the
better it feels. It takes only an hour a day. I am convinced that three out of four sufferers on the
Chiropractor treadmill can get permanent help once they decide to
take dominion over their backs. Oh,
I still have a long way to go to recover full spinal health, but do you know what a relief it is to
know I am
on the right path? For me it was over 40 years of back abuse that got me into this mess, and it is a
testimony to how marvelously the back is designed that my recovery began on the first day I chose to
actually
do something about it. Please don’t tell me this marvel of engineering arose from an
evolutionary collision of accidents How true
we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has given me
a new back and He used Egoscue and just a little bit of my own effort on my part to do it Now I just
want to learn more in order to help friends and loved ones in despair.

Take my advice. Put aside the medical “experts,” surgeons, gimmicks, and your own lazy desire for a
“fast food fix.” It’s not going to happen. Don’t just agree in your head on what is right,
do it If you
begin listening to your back and quit trying to “fix” it, you too can have a new back. Thanks Carmen for
asking me to write this down, and thank you, Pete Egoscue.

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