Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Three Tips to Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down

Things don't always "come up roses."
Today has been a rough day Chez Green. Something happened that took the wind clean out of my sails. Nothing earth-shattering, just an unexpected hassle that I thought I had taken steps to avoid. In the past few days, I've had other frustrations that I managed well. But this one popped the balloon, broke the camel's back, crushed my spirit for the day. It made all the other problems zoom back into focus, and now I find myself literally stooped, finding it hard to lift my head.

My dear husband tried to help.
"This problem isn't a big deal."
"It's going to be ok.."
"You can't let something minor like this tear you up."

But for whatever reason, being caught off guard has me smacked down today. I've moped and groused and cried and fumed, and now I'm ready to learn. Just how do you fight a disappointment--whether severe or severely minor?

  1. Accept where you are. This one is hard for me. I don't like to admit I'm in "a wee bit o' a snit," even more so if my problems are for something I could have prevented. And I'm often afraid of seeing how bad a problem is, so I try to ignore it and hope it goes away. But, as this article on acceptance points out, you can't deal with something you can't accept. Most problems are not as bad as you imagine them to be.
  2. Look for inspiration. I went to, and searched "disappointment," which led me to "inspirational adversity quotes."  There I found lots of good advice, everything from "birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?" (Rose Kennedy) to "If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes."  (The Houghton Line, November 1965). After reading the page, I sat up a little straighter and felt a bit more resilient. You can also call a friend or mentor, or go over your successes in your mind.
  3. Look to your beliefs. Do you believe you'll be rewarded in some way for doing the right thing? Do you believe you have a mission to complete? Do you believe your attitude affects your reality? Then live like you believe. If you know negativity is an issue for you, and want to change, then the best time to start is in a negative state. Find an uplifting sentence to repeat, or a verse of poetry to write out. I sat down to write this blog, knowing I don't really believe the day/week/month is wasted because of one disappointment. 
I hope these points help you in your own fight against disappointment. If so, please share or comment!

Photo credit: Teresa Y Green

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life's About Flow

Photo by Teresa Y Green
Flow. Some people call it the Zone, finding your groove, or moving forward. That wonderful, timeless feeling when you are in the middle of something and it's going well. In Chinese medicine, we call it the free movement of Qi.

When you are in a state of Flow, you are content. You are not worried about tomorrow, you're excited about today. You are in the moment, enjoying the immediacy of life because you are doing what you were meant to do.

There is plenty to read about reaching a state of flow, but the masters of flow are the creators of Chinese medicine. With qigong, acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle tips, Chinese medicine has specialized in cultivating the feel of flow for thousands of years.

To have better FLOW, here are a few simple tips:
  • Move around. You don't have to run marathons or have six-pack abs to get the benefits of exercise. Movement facilitates qi movement, whether it's dancing to the radio or taking a long walk. Qi movement helps stress, lessens pain, and balances your entire body. Take the stairs, park a little farther away, and wiggle in the car while you sing to your favorite song.
  • Don't squash emotions. In Chinese medicine, emotional upheaval is one of the causes of most illnesses. Having strong emotions you don't process in some way will wreck your hormones, hurt your immune system, and rob you of sleep--which can contribute to anything from heart disease to obesity. If you find yourself often feeling sad, angry, or numb, you probably have something going on emotionally. Talk to a minister or therapist, write about it in a journal, or call your least crazy friend. Dealing with emotions as they come up will make your life calmer, and give you room to better enjoy the pleasant emotions of happiness, anticipation, and love.
  • Go outside. Nature is a. . .well. . .naturally healing place. Hearing birds sing, feeling the breeze on your face, and the ground under your feet reminds you that the world around you goes on whether your boss is mad at you or not. Looking at the stars can remind you that most of your problems are small. And looking at clouds connects you to your childhood sense of wonder.
Flow is my thing, and is a continual lifestyle challenge and goal. I can help you find more flow in your life. By looking at the whole picture--a holistic view--we can put the pieces of family, work, health, fun, home and hearth and everything in between together. If you feel like your life is out of balance or if you feel stuck, I can help. When you need other expertise, I have talented friends and colleagues for you to work with and learn from. If you have changes you'd like to make, give me a call or drop an email. I am eager to help.