Monthly Archives: November 2020

Do You Think You Are Acting with Integrity?



 “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”  Oprah Winfrey, Talk show host, producer & philanthropist.

This is an interesting one.  I have talked about our beliefs and conditioning.  Our integrity will depend on the perception we have of our life, based on our conditioning & beliefs.  The Oxford Dictionary states that integrity is entirety, soundness, honesty, incorruptibility.  Where do our values show up in this equation?  Have we been brought up to value honesty?  Are we more likely to show integrity with things that we value?  This then comes back to, are we showing integrity just because it can be seen; to be shown to be linked to situations of value!

When I teach my Chakra Dance classes I have a script that talks about the connection to our Soul and the work there is about tapping into that deeper part of us and hearing what it has to say. Integrity in that sense is keeping a connection to that part of us, and when we don’t, Shamanic cultures believe that this is why anxiety, depression and addictions can arise. Basically there is conflict between our inner and outer lives.

How do we feel when we don’t act with integrity…with our value of honesty & incorruptibility?  Are we honest with ourselves?  Do we say one thing but then do something else?  Sometimes this is a hard one to sift out…the truth from our perceptions of how things are. We’ve all probably heard, ‘To thine own self be true’, only we know if we are doing that…what we are feeling in our bodies will tell us, if we tune in.  Life will feel more in alignment if we are being true with both ourselves and with those around us.

Enjoy living in integrity whether it is seen or not!

What Causes Your Stress?



As I deliver my presentations about Stress, I am continually reminded that the world in general thinks of stress as something that is happening to them from their outside circumstances. Their boss, their family, the juggling of life. And after the circumstances of this year there are more of us than ever feeling the effects!

However stress is actually the response in your body to all sorts of things including your thoughts, beliefs and reactions to both the external and internal stressors. We don’t all respond in the same way to similar incidents. Most times this is initiated when we are children. We develop a way of handling life’s traumas so that we don’t ruffle other’s feathers. This is to make sure that we are loved, that we are secure and that we get our needs met.  This is on the baseline on Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs.’ We can’t move to the next levels until we feel loved, safe and secure.

A couple of years ago I read, “Childhood Disrupted, How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Heal,” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. In her book she talks about the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) questionnaire and the research that had been done from different specialties, all showing huge correlations between the stress we have been subjected to as a child and the illnesses we present with up to 40 years and beyond later.  Two thirds of the 26,000 in one study said, yes, to at least one of the questions. The 10 questions in the ACE don’t all relate to the major traumas that we would expect. It can be low grade chipping away at our self-esteem. We develop ways of responding that we think work for us as a child and we continue to use them into adulthood. These experiences filter all of life’s experiences from then on.

But whatever the experience then, or the experiences now, our bodies all respond in the same way when we perceive the situation to be ‘stressful.’ We go into the ‘fight, flight, freeze or appease’ mode that everyone talks about. We need the physiological response of stress to just get out of bed each morning. What we don’t need is the 21st century ‘status stress,’ winding up some functions and shutting others down. If we’re going out to fight a grissly bear we don’t need our immune, reproductive or digestive systems. That is OK if we are going to come back to the cave and settle back to normal. It is not OK if the continuous stress disrupts the normal workings of our body, leading to disease.

What I have also learnt recently is that we all have particular biological drivers that are unique but similar to others. If I choose to do the right exercise but at the wrong time as suits my chronobiology, it won’t be as effective, because my body is stressed. It needs to be doing something else at that time, like eating or resting. Have you been on a diet that works with all your friends but not you? That could be because the food you have chosen suits their biology but stresses yours. Am I striking a chord?

We are complex beings but the paradox is, there can be simple things that make a big difference.

As a 7 year old I remember throwing a fit at a teacher I adored. Showing strong emotion in our house was not approved of, so I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I carried this for 40 years until I had the opportunity to meet this teacher again. I felt compelled to apologise and of course you know what she said, “I don’t remember anything about that, and if I you had acted in that way I would have thought, a normal little 7 year old behaviour. And what’s more I thought you and your friend Barbara were great kids to have in the classroom.” I learned that day, not everyone is brought up with the same beliefs about life. And now that I’m an adult I can change my beliefs. I don’t have to stick to what my parents said, my teachers may have said, the media says! Research and science shows that our brains are ‘plastic,’ they are mouldable, they can change.

What beliefs are driving your stress and behaviour, that you could choose to change today?

” A Spoon Full of Sugar Makes the World Go Round!”



“Show kindness through your face, your eyes, your smile and through the warmth of your greetings. Don’t only give your care but, but give your heart as well.”   Mother Teresa

 

Everywhere we are reading that “these are unprecedented times.” Mother Teresa’s life was a constant inspiration of leadership in the times of need that she faced, as she showed physically what she spoke of. A few years ago I had a trip to India & we were taken into one of the children’s homes she visited & worked in. By our standards that home was primitive, but those children looked well looked after & judging by the smiles on the faces of the carers they were getting the warmth & love they needed. I know there are some sceptical people out there who would say that was all a show for us to give them dollars so they can continue. But I’m choosing to be kind & believe that the children are top of their priority list. Getting money to provide the care is part of that.

 

The Dalai Lama talks of that state of kindness, as compassion, and the times of the people he leads in a foreign country are far from the comfortable situations that most of us are in. When I saw them each evening walking around their place of worship in their national costume, I felt a certain level of peace about them that I don’t feel in most of the western world.

 

Even our own Prime Minister here in New Zealand kept reminding us to be kind to our fellow travellers as we went through the wave of Covid. We are all so different and we handle the stresses of life differently. We all need to connect with others in the human race, but for some it is about their biology. They can become ill if they can’t connect with others daily. Others have the biology that thrives on the peace and quiet and probably couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about for those who had to rely on the computer for their daily fix of companionship. Being kind to one another is about understanding that because we are biologically different we all have different needs. No one else on this planet is exactly like us.

 

Enjoy showing compassion and kindness to everyone you come in contact with!

“Every Little Cell in My Body is Happy!”



“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.”  Denis Waitley

Happiness is part of who we all are. Some of us have lost that sense of where it comes from along the journey of life, so we start searching outside ourselves to find what we think is in a new car, a job with more income, a nice home, a vacation – especially at the moment when where we thought we might be travelling to, has been taken away. And there’s the rub! That is what happens when we focus on those things that relate to other people or circumstances that we thought was bringing us happiness, or could do in the future. We have no control of it being taken away or reduced by other people.

Things that we can do to raise our vibration, and therefore improve our internal happiness levels, can be things like having a gratitude practice. Rather than keeping us stuck where we are, being grateful for what we have, is like thanking the universe for seeing to our needs no matter how small. I’m not sure about you, but if I give someone a gift & they genuinely appear to appreciate it, I’m happy to repeat that process next time I feel the need. So in a way that person is being rewarded for showing gratitude when I remember them. There has been research done that shows how appreciation can lower our blood pressure and heart rate and even improve our cholesterol levels, whether we are one receiving the thanks or giving them. The heart rhythm becomes even, and what they call coherent. This feels good to every system in our bodies – a great way to feel happy.

So don’t make the mistake that this author alludes to when he says, “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness. Not because they never found it – but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” William Feather 1889-1981, Publisher and Author

Enjoy feeling happy regardless of your outside environment!

A Good Year to Look Forward



“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.”   Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma wrote a book called, “The Monk who sold his Ferrari.” He shares a story of a superstar lawyer whose out-of-balance lifestyle – all work, money, struggle and ego – leads him to a near fatal heart attack.  This near-death experience triggers a spiritual awakening, where he embarks on an adventure to an ancient enlightened culture, and discovers a powerful system to release the potential of his mind, body and soul. A good read if you are into these sorts of books.

The “longer I get in the tooth,” as they say, the more I believe this quote to be true. I am grateful for the career I have had as a physiotherapist where I get to walk alongside people in their physical rehabilitation. But there came a point in time where I wanted to open up my opportunities to help people, to help them explore the part their mind and spirit has to play in how they heal physically. The Chinese have known this for centuries. In fact their belief that we are just a small part of the macrocosm of the world, leads us to look at how the weather, our emotions, the food we eat has a bearing on how we heal. The Aruyvedic System has a similar viewpoint, but I am not as familiar with their perception of health as such.

Quantum physics has now been able to back-up the ‘science’ of these two wisdoms and take it another step forward. Every thought we have, every belief, every action we take influences our future. So rather than looking backwards and allowing any of the ‘negatives’ to hold us back, we can change our mindset, change our reactions to life and therefore change our future. We now know that the brain can be altered, it is not fixed. So here we can look back on the wisdoms these two cultures have given us, accept the findings of the quantum physicists of the now, and look forward to having the future become what we believe our soul wants us to become.

Enjoy moving forward with purpose!