Groundhog Day–Again

It’s Groundhog Day. Again. It always reminds me of the movie with Bill Murray where he finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. Repeating the same day and the same patterns drives him bonkers, until he sees a way of turning the situation to his advantage.

Quite simply, he changes his patterns, and magic happens. We all get stuck in habits and patterns that aren’t serving us well, and we end up getting stuck in a rut. The good news is that we can crawl out of that rut with just a few simple changes.

Here are a few tips that sound really easy and downright silly, but trust me, they work.

1). Sleep on the “wrong” side of the bed. It might sound strange, but it can give you an entirely different perspective on bedtime. You might even sleep better.

2). Change your morning routine. Instead of turning on the (ack!) news or checking your email, turn on some music instead. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the morning and wake up gently, rather than jarring yourself awake with a cattle prod.

3). Use your non-dominant hand to comb your hair, wash your face, and brush your teeth. This lights up your nervous system in a gentle way and makes you more alert, aware, creative, and curious.

4). Drive a different route when you drive to and from work. This increases your cognitive awareness, makes you a safer driver since you will be playing closer attention to your surroundings, and can even improve your reaction and reflexes.

5). Learn a new skill such as dance, music, writing, knitting, learn a new language, join a book club, etc.

And at least trying something (anything) new or different is certainly better than listening to loops of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You, Babe.” Because, in my humble opinion, nothing could be sillier than that.

 

Episode #41: Writing Words That Work

Words are powerful, and the ability to be able to clearly communicate your message is crucial to your business and life in general. In this episode, Jesssica Olma, the founder and owner of Scribe Syndicate explains how to write and use words that work, how to change habits that might be getting in our own way, and how to handle life’s bumps in the road.

http://scribesyndicate.com

 

 

What We Believe is What We Become

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my Feldenkrais Training is that what we tell ourselves really does matter. Our mind (our brain and our nervous system) is constantly listening and processing the information that it receives. What we tell ourselves is what we believe. And what we believe is what we become.

This became quite obvious during ballet class a few days ago when I listened to several of my barre buddies beat themselves down with negative self-talk. Our teacher had just given us a challenging and complex combination. A group of dancers stood around discussing their limitations, their short comings, their injuries, the reasons why they wouldn’t be able to do the combination and what would happen when they tried.

It was fascinating to see all of their dire predictions come true once the music started. It was a stark contrast to the group who quietly watched the teacher, marking the movements with their hands and in their imagination. They moved through the combination with an ease and grace that looked effortless. It wasn’t because they had more talent or technique. It was because they believed in themselves and invested all of their focus and attention on what they could do, rather than what they thought they couldn’t do. Yes….it is that simple.

I must confess, I used to engage in deprecating, negative self-talk myself. I wasn’t only good at it, I was a master at it, and I took it to a high art form. However, this self-defeating practice began to change once I began my Feldenkrais Training. The change was slow and subtle, but it was there. I felt happier, healthier, and more energetic. I even felt younger, and I discovered that I liked myself more. I became my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy. And I learned that life was a lot more fun than it used to be. What a gift!

What we believe is what we become. Be careful what you tell yourself, because your nervous system is always listening. Your mind does matter. And it will believe what you say. Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself positive messages. Soon it will become automatic, and effortless. And you may be surprised how good you’ll feel, and what you can accomplish. The possibilities are endless!

 

Pieces of April

I absolutely love the song “Pieces of April” by Three Dog Night. In my mind, it’s the more sophisticated (and musical) version of that quaint saying, “April showers bring May flowers….” There’s a metaphor for life, don’t you think?

I love springtime. But for some reason, April bums me out. Maybe because a lot of tragedies in our nation’s history happened in April. Maybe because the weather is psychotic, especially here in Colorado. But it’s spring. Isn’t every one bubbling over with joy and happiness?

Apparently not. Because I’m not the only person who gets bummed out during the month of April. A few years ago, a friend described this time of year as being full of effort, even for nature.

She explained that the grass and flowers were hard at work struggling to push through the earth to get to the sun. Same thing with the trees trying to push open their buds. Only to be foiled by a late spring snowstorm. Birds were frantically trying to stake their territory, build their nests and lay their eggs. Everyone and everything was pushing, pushing, pushing.

Maybe it’s our biology. Maybe it’s our history. Perhaps it’s the 24/7 news cycle that relentlessly bombards us with bad news. Even when we turn it off it still pops up on our computer screens. Maybe it is simply that we empathize with the frenetic pace of nature trying to get things done before spring turns into the lazy days of summer.

The point is, life isn’t always easy, but it’s always wonderful. And sometimes we need to push through the tough times to get to the other side. Because no matter what we are dealing with, it will pass. There is always a morning in May, and the promise of great things to come. It’s just  the way life works.