Time doesn’t have to fly

Savoring time, photo by Tim Nisly, Albuquerque, NM, United States, slowing downPeople say “time flies”. In actual fact we are responsible for how fast time passes. Remember when we were children how long one year seemed like so long? That was because we weren’t in control of our lives, others were – our parents, teachers and so on. As adults we are in charge and we can forget how to stay in ‘the now’ and enjoy just being. Instead we live from gratification to gratification – the next pay cheque, the next outing, the next shopping excursion, the debts being cleared, and many more excuses to be in the tomorrow. Then we are surprised that time flies.

I noticed how quickly Christmas comes and goes
and as I get older it unsettles me
if I am in charge of my life then
I am responsible for how quickly time flies
so I cleared my symbolic plate of
as many commitments that allowed me
to have more relaxation time and
life enjoyment activities
but definitely less busy time!
how amazingly slow the week went
giving me enjoyment and serenity
it’s as simple as that
now I just have to be vigil about
maintaining that pace

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Let’s talk

Talking, photo by Rakesh Vaghela, Leicester, United Kingdom,  conflict resolutionPoor communication is the No. 1 problem area in relationships. As long as people are prepared to talk about their feelings, needs, wants and give feedback about what they’ve understood the other person has said, then conflict can be transformed into negotiations for solutions. As people develop the art of expressing themselves appropriately they also discover that it is beneficial to the sender as well as the receiver of the message. Another important tip is that if the message is not being understood clearly then it is up to the person sending the message to rephrase it. Communicating effectively creates inner peace for all parties concerned in the interaction.

I was feeling uncomfortable about something
and decided to mention it to him
halfway through he became defensive
I felt anxious so I relaxed my breathing
and then started again “I mustn’t have been
clear in what I said so I’ll start again…”
changing how I expressed my thoughts
in so doing I felt calm again
then a more appropriate message came out
he too became more relaxed and from his reply it
was apparent? that he understood my point
although we did not agree
we agreed to disagree and
that was good enough for me
so our friendship strengthened

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90 meetings in 90 days

Chairs 1, photo by Anka Draganski,  London United Kingdom, http://www.fofiles.co.uk, 12 Step meetingsRegardless of which addiction we are afflicted with, a trusted and true recovery method has been to go to 90 meetings in 90 days with a willingness to abstain. Just getting to sit in 12 Step meetings, until the message gets through to your subconscious, is the key. As you sit with the feelings that were the reason you needed to self medicate, you own them as being your feelings which releases the fear about them, then you can relax. Relaxation brings us peace in our inner turmoil. The other powerful influence of attending meetings is that when we identify with others’ experiences they model solutions for us and “monkey see monkey do”. If we don’t do 90 in 90 then at least 3 meetings a week are absolutely necessary.

he told his therapist that he was
really pissed off with her because she
set homework for him to attend
7 meetings a week with other tasks
such as writing, reading, walking and
affirmations on a daily basis
a therapist himself, he felt he lived
the program and 1 meeting a week
would be sufficient, however
he surrendered and was amazed
that this meant he had needed to
let go of the control that had been
ruining his recovery
and it worked
a proven remedy

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Exercise for healing and fitness

A Walk in the Park 1, photo by Curtis Fletcher, Thornton, United States, easy  fitnessMany people love going to gyms and/or exercising like jogging, swimming, horse riding, dancing and bicycle riding. Others participate in sports such as tennis, bowling, football, squash, and more. Some of us who find exercise too daunting can manage walking, slow dance, aqua-aerobics, yoga, and mowing the lawn to name a few. Any exercise is vital for gaining and maintaining fitness. Furthermore, exercise is especially beneficial for healing such basic illnesses as depression and diabetes.

she sufffered from severe depression but
although she new the benefits of anti-depressants
she was loathe to take them but she did know
that exercising was therapeutic for many illnesses
she attended the gym and yoga regularly
which she told me kept her hopeful of
a speedy recovery as it had helped in the past
another wise choice was that she drank water and
ate healthy food which she mostly prepared herself
a good balance of protein and vegies
were the major ingredients and
I loved to eat them with her

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Bringing in the New Year

Fireworks, photo by Randall Chacon, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica, important celebrationsTonight, everyone the world over is attending a major celebration in their own city, usually involving fireworks, to bring in the New Year. It’s a beautiful event and can include different rituals in different cultures. In Sydney people gather at Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and celebrate watching a firework display for children at 9pm and another more spectacular at midnight. Those who stay at home watch the fireworks on their TVs which means we see celebrations in other parts of the world too.

when my children were small
we watched the fireworks from
our homes in the suburbs and then
after midnight played a friendly card game of 21
this is when we determined our luck for the year
it was thought that if you win it will be
a prosperous year for investments
however, if you lose then it was considered
in your best interests not to take risks
nevertheless, we had fun playing with
family and friends

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Anxiety and addiction

Robin Eggs, photo by Jason Collins, Tillsonburg, Canada, chicken or the eggWhich comes first the chicken or the egg, they ask? Does anxiety create addiction or does addiction create anxiety? As I see it both apply. We become anxious over something and we reach out to self medicate with a substance or process (alcohol, smoking, pills, food, love, gambling, arguing) which we know will give us some relief, even though temporary and unhealthy. Then when the feelgood wears off we are faced with a double barrel situation – the unresolved anxiety from the first instance and the one created by the withdrawal from the feelgood. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, they say. Better to resolve the problem creating the anxiety in the first place. Then the feelgood is kept manageable, for those who can.

I had some university work to attend to
and as it was not that of my choice
the procrastination set in fuelled by my anxiety
or vice versa, who cares?!
so I cleaned out the cupboards and took care
of other chores I had been putting off which
were less unpleasant than the uni work
then I turned to my drug of choice – food
a little of this and a little of that increased
my guilt and anxiety and then I tackled
the original culprit but as I finished the task
I wondered why I hadn’t spared myself the angst
the universal question!

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Exercise is a necessity

Walking dummy, photo by anonymous, Nea Smyrni, Greece, easy movementStudies have shown that people suffering from diabetes can lower their sugar count by exercise and weight loss. Most people who are overweight find it difficult to exercise. Nevertheless, exercise is a necessity to all people. Walking is a gentle effective form of exercise.

she complained to me about
being asked by her doctor to
exercise regularly, even just walking
and I explained that
exercise is a necessity to
physical and mental health
she promised to begin by
walking short distances
and then perhaps
increase that bit by bit
before she saw me next time
I think that is an excellent beginning

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Children expressing themselves

Children Looking, photo by Victoria Mellado, Mar del Plata,  Argentina,  self awarenessAs commented by Robert Shields regarding my post called Tools of Serenity, I agree it is true that children are wonderful to work with. Their innocence is inspiring and they can express their innermost thoughts and feelings in a way beyond their years. We often try to protect children from expressing themselves, whereas if we encourage them to say what is in their hearts not only is it good for them but we learn from them too. Children expressing themselves is a lesson to adults.

As I listened to my granddaughter’s words
I was enthralled by her ability to express her
innermost feelings in such depth
children expressing themselves is
such an enlightening process
which we adults underestimate
and need to encourage in them

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Remove the stress

puzzle, photo by Emin Ozkan, Izmir, Turkey, serenity peaceSerenity and peace of mind are easier to maintain if the stress in our lives is kept to a minimum. That is, negative and positive stress. Both forms of stress put pressure on our system and we reach out for, or do, things that helps us to cope better. Often the things we use are not healthy for us. Then we make excuses as we are faced with the consequences of our actions. This could be putting on weight from overeating or being fatigued from working too many hours, being sick from too much drinking or smoking. The list goes on. Our first step should be to remove the stress then we can deal with the excesses much easier.

retirement had promised to be a relaxing time
and she’d looked forward to doing the fun things
she had promised herself for such a long time
but somehow she became so very busy
how did that happen she wondered because
her healthy food plan had faded away?
her coping method had been comfort eating
and promising herself that soon she would stop
then she realised that she needed to
get down to basics and
remove the stress from her life before
everything else could fall into place

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Feedback from the Life Strategies Workshop

Smiley OrangeI’d like to share with you feedback from my Life Strategies Workshop of 30th April…

  • insightful and useful afternoon
  • very relaxing and non threatening atmosphere
  • sharing with like-minded seekers
  • enjoyable and relaxing
  • interesting
  • a great experience
  • positive and creative

As the Life Coach for this session I designed and facilitated an activity which focussed on finding your passion and removing any obstacles. This proved to be inspiring as well as loaded with fun.

Think about it, what are you doing to find your passion? What’s stopping you from achieving your passion?

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