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EQ Wellness - Ignite

Engage:

It is so easy so easily to slip back into the old person you have been. In the past 12 days I have shared 12 principles of Emotional Intelligence ways to identify things in all of us and myself that we can work on. For me I could have easily trudged along on my well-trodden path of negative self-talk, comfortably overanalyzing, and well-worn pessimistic beliefs about myself. I sound almost human. Honestly, for all of us we can return to the old patterns so easily. It becomes a habit, if you will. We already have the knowledge of how to do it, it is almost automatic, and it is comfortable because we used to use it. To not use those old habits and known self-destructive thoughts and behaviors takes dedicated work. As you do the dedicated work and are intentional about the change your making it becomes easier and you will end up not thinking about the changes and will just use them. The old, destructive habits are still in in you, yet you do not use them or even consider them as appropriate. It is the same as Recovery.

Ignite yourself, reread the past days writing, formulate your change plan and get to work. In those great words from Larry the Cable Guy: “Get Er Done”.

Activate:

"What do I need?"

We are never going to create lasting change if we don't believe in our own mission. I suspect you are up to something big in reading all 12 Wellbeing emails. I truly believe that something has ignited inside of you. I bet that there is nothing else, worthy of your attention toward the change you need or want to make in you. So, what is it that need or want? Think big-- what of these twelve emails has really spoken to your heart and mind; what is whispering to you?

Write a few of these big goals down and remember them as we move into the next phase.

Reflect:

"How do I get there? "Now that we've thought big, it's time to think small. What are some baby steps you can take to get to these big goals? What acts, done consistently over time, will lead you to your big goals? Write them down, put them somewhere visible, and do them. There are a few tips to successfully latching on to new habits, if you haven't already found your own ways of doing so. Attach them to a current habit (I will count my blessings while I brush my teeth). Create a daily to-do list with your new habits on it (and smile big when you check it off!). Develop some vulnerability with a friend to tell them your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable, or listen to a podcast on the subject you are wanting to practice to boost your awareness of the topic. Set a concrete time limit for practicing.

Whatever ends up working for you, don't forget to reflect. Take time to measure your progress, whether it is with a journal, a therapist, a friend, or a spreadsheet. Ready, set, PRACTICE!

I hope that the articles leading up to today have served as an inspiration and a springboard for making life much more enjoyable. Writing these has made these skills much more real and make me remember what they really mean. Thank You. I look forward to hearing from you if you care to share.

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11 Ways on How the Most Comprehensive Book on Depression is Changing the Concept of Self-Help

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(New Blogpost) Practice Positive Discipline: Your Child Will Thank You For It...

EQ Wellness-Luxuriate
Luxuriate
Engage:
Occasionally, we have days like in yesterday’ post. Challenging, Draining, Exhausting, Educative about the self, Packed with opportunity for Healing, Growth and Recovery.
Occasionally, we have days like that and it is OK just a part of life.
So it is now time for glorious, soul filling, restful self-care and Comfort.
This is where the focus is going today. How can we pour a little hot fudge on the most mundane of days?
Activate:
"What is restful moment?"
There are times when one feels overwhelmed or when an event happens you come away drained. I remember moments when I was a Paramedic Intern. I was working as a Ambulance Tech 120 miles from home, Friday attending my paramedic classes, and 12hr rotating internship at the hospital, Mon -Thursday. My subconscious thought pattern was to, "Just power through this, then you can relax." Yet at the same time I am complaining about it. This is an old pattern I have, yet as I have learned through EQ training it is not all that healthy emotionally.
Three things hit me:
1. I have this thought pattern a lot!
2. This is NOT a healthy thought pattern!
3. Using the EQ skills is a choice! I can to change my situation.
Now I can make the choice to change, Practice EQ, Practice Self- I made the choice to also have some comfort food.
Choose a moment in your day that causes you that time of angst, or thoughts that I’m too busy or not again. These are necessary things to remember; Good. Read on!
Reflect:
"How can I make this moment a little more ______?"
How can you pour a little hot fudge on the moment (comfort)? What do you consistently enjoy? What Self -Care do I need now or at the end of the week. What do I need For Healing, Growth and Recovery. Then, for this day, this week, this year, do it!
This life is your oyster, and it is yours to choose what you need, with anticipation since YOU and God know that you need and the skills . And you know who will have the power for that transformation? YOU and GOD.

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Porche Carrera in Turn 12
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EQ Wellness- Connection

I woke up in a cabin with no TV and no internet. I lazily read books beside my wife, felt the warmth of a roaring fireplace while playing games, and savored a gorgeous sunset from the wide back porch with the whole family. If my day sounds like a country song, it's because it kind of was-- I could literally see a deer stand from the back porch! Seriously, though, my life felt filled to the brim with love, natural beauty, and simplicity. I felt that deepest kind of gratitude that can only come from one place-- being surrounded by people I love and who love me.

Activate:
"Why is connection important?"

Let's go back to the scene of me lazily reading on the porch beside Trish. If you could zoom in on the picture, you would find the title of my book-- "Brain Rules for Aging Well." It is a phenomenal book by a phenomenal developmental molecular biologist and writer by the name of John Medina. The book artfully explains the brain research behind aging and what we can do to realistically become that 90-year-old we dreamed about the other day.
So, what are the secrets to having a healthy, old brain? I'm only a chapter in, but I can already tell you a big one: relationships. In one 12-year study, 1,140 seniors were measured for their social activity and their cognitive health; the group that socialized most showed a whopping 70% less mental decline than those with little to no social activity.
Now that I knew the facts, I had to have a talk with myself, and so do you. Am I doing the best that I can to prioritize the relationships that will give me a long, healthy, meaningful life?


Reflect:
"How can I live out my life
with a focus on my relationships?"

Medina's book brought up an interesting question for me. He writes a sentence that is intended as a backdrop to another topic, but it grabbed me immediately. Here it is:
"While you maintain your closest relationships with five people at a time, researchers find, you can have meaningful relationships of varying quality with an additional 150 people."
Wait a minute, back up there, your closest relationships with five people? I thought about it; can I really claim that I make a strong effort to maintain really close relationships with five people in my life? No, I can't honestly say I do. I felt ashamed about this, but then I asked my (super relationship-oriented) mother-in-love the same question. She, too, had to think long and hard about who those five people would be. So it wasn't just me. I got to writing, and I invite you to do the same.
Can you list the five people in your life with whom you would like to have the closest of connections? While you're at it, can you brainstorm the effortful action steps you will take to solidify each person on your list? I am one day in, and I have already started following my plan for energizing these close relationships. I think our brains, hearts, and loved ones will thanks us for the effort.

Trust
Engage:
It had been a hard few weeks with challenges to my spirituality. the ministries in Uganda, and work decreasing significantly. Our normally delightful relationship was going through a rough patch. The photography was not allowing for total peace, as it had before. Self-Doubt definitely creeping back up and has been bothersome. Doubting myself all together. In a way losing the trust in myself. That is so scary I was becoming engulfed by the unsettling waves of my life. And before it got better, it got a lot worse.
Activate:
"Sometimes the waves must get big to remind us we are the ocean", not the stick in the ocean
The waves came to their crest during a conversation with my wife. Reaching out to her, desperately treading water and looking at his hand to pull me up. She had said something that was hurtful at least to my perception, yet with my emotion in a storm, it felt like my emotions were drowning. I felt the emotions of fear, guilt, and shame. As I sat in the flood of emotions I became aware of the ocean. I switched to time and true values of Emotional Intelligence, Meditation, Prayer, and Mentors that I can access to contain all of these emotions in living life. I listened to them, I nurtured by them. With these I can begin to re-trust trusted myself. When the sense of being overwhelmed stops then I can take several cleansing breaths. Then I was able to share calmly and confidently express my needs. The deep trust in myself I knew I could say what I needed and in a way that it could be received and that we both could learn and grow from the experience. that even if he didn't give me the response I wanted, I was honoring and taking care of myself.
Reflect:
"How can we sow the seeds of trust so that they can grow to be strong enough when we need them?"
Few words were spoken the rest of the night, yet everything has shifted in our relationship. I will not take the credit; I have an incredible and thoughtful wife. Yet there is the responsibility for the larger shift inside of myself. That night taught how important it is to cultivate trust and faith when times are good, so that we can draw on that strength when times are tumultuous.
What builds your sense of trust and faith? Meditation on tapping into your inner self. Prayer to whatever it is you believe in. Daily self-affirmations like "I am the “ocean" or "I love you." Regular visits to a therapist to delve into the self, and returning/using your skill and tools that are an integral part of you. Whatever it is, do more of it.
Build that ocean so big and strong that all waves can be met with unconditional love and understanding. Build that ocean now so that, when the waves come, you can say, "I trust that these waves will build my strength." Build that ocean now so that you can see those waves from a mile away and say "I see you out there, waves, I already understand you, and I am already prepared for you to be closer." Perhaps, when we get to that point, we will find that the waves slow way down.

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The River Like Glass
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The River Runs Over the Rocks
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