Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fear Versus Trust, Courage, Calmness ...

The dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Along with these thoughts go many physiological hormonal processes that can affect your health long – term.

If you’re having headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, and sleeplessness worrying about Covid – 19, the election, paying rent, bills, getting the kids back in school, getting back to work, and on and on, please read on.  According to a University of Minnesota article, living under constant threat has serious health consequences. Fear weakens the immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as intestinal ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. Long term stress can even lead to accelerated ageing and premature death.

I ask myself why I would put my entire life on hold and stay in quarantine for 5 months to avoid a possibly deadly infection while consciously creating life threatening hormonal changes in my body. My answer to myself was, “I wouldn’t.”

The opposite of fear is trust, or calmness. No matter how hard I need to focus on relaxation or calmness, I have come to realize that I’m wasting this quarantine time if I don’t work hard to combat the stress. According to the Huff Post God actually commands us not to fear or worry at least 80 times in the bible. Apparently, stress and fear has been around for a long time.

In addition to the stress factors are the issues of Netflix and chill. Sitting for long periods is also related to heart disease and diabetes. It can be as destructive as Covid itself!

I know that in my house if I’m nervous, so is my husband and importantly, our little dog. She hunkers under me and watches movies too. So, after the first month of lockdown where we had actually agreed to binge on a couple of our favorite shows with 5 seasons TWICE, we knew that some sort of mental / emotional illness would set in to all of us if we didn’t agree on plans of exercising or meditating together every day along with activities that we do at certain times to mark the days. This is really a hard time in life, isn’t it?

I can’t tell anybody else what to do with their time, but I have been a trainer for many years and I know that shut – in TV watching for months isn’t good for anyone! Here are my suggestions.

First of all, if the weather and neighborhood allow it, walking each day is the best thing that you can do. If you’re infirm, 5 minutes a day is a good place to start. If you’re young and healthy, now is a great time to set goals for some type of competition in the future. Why not? I’m old, but I’m considering a career in corn hole and pickle ball when this damned thing is over. I didn’t even know that I missed sports competition until now.

I am an active QiGong practitioner which is what brings me down to a relaxed place after walking. I post a lot of videos, and I recommend going to youtube for many programs. I love Mimi Kuo Deemer’s  (click) lectures and classes. She’s for real! There is an 8 move routine called BaDuanJin
which is also demonstrated on youtube, and it is an excellent daily practice. Actually, if you were to become interested in QiGong, there are millions of credible videos to learn from. I chose QiGong because I’m jumpy and busy and in the beginning, sitting quietly while my mind was screaming didn’t work for me. After practicing the movements while meditating, I have an easier time practicing a sitting meditation.

Taking a moment away from our ongoing stressful situation is imperative. You have to take time to do something, anything to stop the stress hormones from raising your blood pressure. Your own choice of music on headphones, waterfall or ocean sounds, or even listening to relaxing music in your car are some things to do. A hot bath, a nap, a sit in the backyard, or anything to clear your mind for even 5 minutes a day will stop the stress hormone overload and give you a minute to rest your mind.

 If you’re out of work and freaking out, I send positive thoughts and prayers. I get crazy when I watch politicians going home for a holiday while no unemployment decisions have been made. They have left for a four day weekend? They have no idea that a hungry hard working person is checking the mailbox twice a day “just in case” anyway. This is why I suggest that you change the channel to funny pets for an hour or two. The less time you focus on the news, the better.

Whatever you’re doing, know that you’re not alone here. Some people don’t give a #$%@ about us, but many do. If you need help with food, ask. If you need a higher credit card limit, ask. You might be surprised what some companies are doing for people. There are good people out there that do understand the predicament that Americans have found themselves in.

The opposite of fear is curiosity, or trust, or courage or calmness. Spend time talking to those that you trust, satisfy your curiosity by taking a free course online, go outside and breathe! Maybe I’ll see you on the pickleball court. This nightmare WILL end. Take care, everyone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Five Months In Quarantine

Oh man. What can I write about? Five months in quarantine, and we go to Wal Mart for grocery curbside pickup every two weeks. Period. Fortunately, we keep a steady schedule in the house each day, thanks to Pete, our little dog. 

First, we have our coffee on the back deck while she "takes a tan." This is how she starts each day. After breakfast, we watch a little news, do chores around the house, and do stuff that might be required for dinner.

Thank God I bought a new treadmill which allows us to get a little exercise, and while each of us is walking, the other goes off to practice qigong, or whatever we're in the mood to do on the floor.

We both write, so there's plenty of time for that, baking bread, fixing stuff, etc. After dinner, bed again.

So, my question is ... how much longer? When can we get on with that first retirement road trip? How much longer??? If the pandemic keeps rotating and rotating, when will the economy open up? Will we ever go out to eat again? 

We're hanging in okay since we're retired, but we pray for everyone who has lost a job, security, health insurance, and just plain peace of mind. We went through this type of stuff in 2007, but without the pandemic. I can't imagine the fear of having no job or nowhere to get one! This will pass one day, but when? I encourage everyone who needs help to ask for it. Please go to the food bank if you need it. There's no shame in these hard times. Take care everyone. Stay safe, take care of your family. If you're fortunate, please donate. Blessings to all! 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Luck Is What Happens When Planning Meets Opportunity

Even those of you that are organized life planners can’t really put a future plan together because of the uncertainty in our world today. What a freakin’ predicament we find ourselves in. First of all, we’ll need to get through the pandemic. As the infection wanes (with the help of citizens), life, as we know it will change. Unlike the past, if you were willing to go to work, you could find something in a restaurant, or an office in a few days time.

How things have changed. Jobs, as we knew them have changed. Airlines, restaurants, gyms, beauty salons, and even some degreed professions will be less in demand. If they stagger classroom attendance, and restaurant and movie attendance, only half of these workers will be necessary.

It’s time to take a close look at the possibilities that will be coming around in your future. Even though the outlook seems grim, this is a wonderful time to re-configure your own plans for the future. Are you willing to pursue a personal passion? Maybe sell your hobby skills as a profession? Go back to school? Now is the time to start making plans of what to pursue, and if your resume will require some tweaking.

I’m a firm believer in the trades. As a single Mother with a full time job, I was able to fall back on my licensed trade as a Massage Therapist for some extra money. I know that with Covid-19, Massage Therapy isn’t the trade to choose today, but there are many trades that can be performed from home, along with online training. I know. With no paycheck, it’s urgent to get started now, and you shouldn’t have to risk your life to go to work. Naysayers might claim that you’re not risking your life working face to face with the public, but science shows otherwise. So, for those readers who wish to move forward and make changes, here are some ideas that may be helpful.

First of all, instant money is available to eBay sellers. No kidding, people buy stuff! People collect stuff. People have kids to clothe, and women LOVE handbags. My claim to fame was a Moroccan bag from a garage sale in Eugene, Oregon for 20 cents that I sold during a hard time for $45.00. I think that it may have been worth even more. You’ll need an email address, a bank account, a camera, and an online title. Once you get started, you’ll just need to deliver what you said that you would. The more positive feedback that you receive from buyers, the better reputation you’ll get. Voila! Cash flow. To get started, GO TO THIS LINK:

Another simple online venture is to monetize your social media accounts. I like Google because they’re all tied together. By monetizing your Youtube and Blogger accounts, you can tie them to Goodle Adsense, for payment for clicks. You design your Google blog (set up at Blogger.com) to place Adsense links in different areas of the blog, and there you go. Write about what you like, or post great stuff on your YouTube account that will draw clicks to your ads. There are ads all around this post.

If you are looking at the possibility of enhancing your current experience and hobby to find work performing something that you love, or even start selling your talents, there are many online courses that are either free or a minimal fee available to you. Some of them are; YouTube, Udemy, Universal Class, Lynda, and EdX, which is my favorite. I just took a free course in Macroeconomics taught by two of the main experts in the field, at no cost. Many of these very credible courses may add just the right education to turn your resume in a new direction. If you’re at home and quarantined at this time, what have you got to lose? This is an opportunity to find the time that you might not have had before.

If your situation is such that you are not in the mindset nor do you have the tools to go online or even anything to sell, go to www.feedingamerica.org  to find the nearest available food bank. Please contact a church, a fire department, a hospital, or your county health department. You are not alone in this and even though the news is dire, there are good people in your community. The situation is no fault of yours, and no reason to feel shame. Don’t be afraid to ask.  

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Read About Calming Color Choices

 Click On The Photo To Read The Article

Three Months In Quarantine

My husband and I have been meditators for many years. As a massage therapist, my theme has always been about relaxation. The music that I listen to, the music that I compose, and the colors of the paint in my home are geared towards relaxation. Thank God for that!

I'm generally high strung, so the news of the past few months have been enough to put us over the edge. Fortunately, we have been using the time to go through all of my notes from over the years, and have practiced breathing and relaxation methods, in addition to laying off the foods that might make us wired.

I've gone back to writing articles about stress and relaxation for a couple of publications,  and have finally found my way back to this blog. I'll be sharing some simple strategies to having a calmer and healthier existence. My first project ... How colors affect your mood.

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