Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Keep Your Balance - How and Why

"Life is a great balancing act." ~ Dr.Seuss

We do not have to wait until we have lost our balance, completely, to find it. The key to keeping your balance is to  first acknowledge you may be feeling a bit wobbly. 

Consider yourself a gymnast on the balance beam of life. Have you ever watched what they do when they realize they are losing their balance? They start to wobble, then their arms start to flail around, all in an effort to regain control, find their center and solid footing, back on that beam.  Do they ever fall off the beam, sure, sometimes, but please take note: they always get back up and try again. 

We do have a lot to balance in our lives: family, friends, work, financial concerns, community and personal, 'me', time. It is simple but not so easy! We can only decide to do our best by continually trying to find our center, keep our balance and stay up on that beam.  

When our lives are in balance we feel better, our self esteem and sense of worth is higher, our relationships are at their best and it is here we find our greatest joy and true happiness. This is what living life to the fullest is all about!

Positive Adaptation can assist you: 'Think, Feel and Do'. We can begin by prioritizing, placing in a healthy order, our needs and wants; they are not the same. Think and feel about each one; which are your highest priorities, why and when you discover what is what and who is who... DO something about it.  A balance beam is always just a balance beam, things don't change, we do. 

Discover where your center is and you will have found your balance. The good news is you already possess what you need. It is already inside you waiting to be found and utilized, (see older post "Ruby Slippers').  

Albert Einstein said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving".  We are human so we may indeed lose our balance and fall off once in a while.  

Let's make the decision to keep moving forward to our place of balance as this is where our happiness lies.  If we get wobbly, we will just keep at it!

"And will we succeed? 98  3/4% Guaranteed!"   From: "Oh The Places You Will Go", by Dr. Seuss, my pick for greatest 'self help' book ever written.

Make it a great one,
Victoria

Friday, August 5, 2016

Today Is Your Day! (The Rest and Best-Part 2)



"Today Is Your Day..."


"Oh The Places You Will Go"    
~ Dr. Seuss


Today is the day, the only one we have to become our best selves. Remember, it is never too late to become who you are meant to be and to enjoy life to the fullest. Let us begin anew, today!

Positive Adaptation teaches us that we all have the power, within us, to 'Think, Feel and Do' better. Whether the improvement sought is personal, professional, relational, financial or a combination, PA offers a guide, a way of living which assists us in finding and maintaining the healthy balance we seek.

Positive Adaptation is a simple concept, however, not always easy in daily practice. Our patterns of 'Thinking, Feeling and Doing' are generally learned early on in life and all too often become ingrained, first nature to us. We must choose to identify the patterns that, to date, have not been working for us and then discover new, better ways to handle whatever life challenges are presented us. We have everything we need to do so, now, already within us.

Just because 'that is the way it has always been' does not mean that is the way it always has to be. Change requires courage, even when the change is for the better. We have to learn to walk through any fears we may have, as not doing so keeps us where we have always been. I love how simply Susan Jeffers's stated how to work through fear: "Feel the fear and do it anyway."
The way to achieve change is not to go around it or in avoiding it. The only way to achieve our best selves is having the courage to go through change.

Life is to not to be survived or merely existed. Life is to be experienced, savored and enjoyed. Why would we choose to settle for a 'status quo' that has not lead us where we wanted to go when we can do better?

Empower yourself! Make the decision to 'Think, Feel and Do' your best today. "You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can decide which direction to choose."

This brings me to what I believe is the greatest 'self help' book written to date, (as I have yet to publish mine), Dr. Suess's "Oh The Places You will Go."

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.


And will you succeed?


Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!


So...

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
---Dr. Seuss


Today is your day, enjoy it!
Victoria




Saturday, July 23, 2016

Put Your Mask On First



Place your oxygen mask
on first......


Have you ever been on an airplane and watched a flight attendant, (or now, a video), demonstrate the "oxygen mask procedure"? They always instruct you to place your mask on yourself first before helping anyone else with theirs. Always.  They never say, "Of course this is really selfish of you, but hey, what the heck".  No, they go on to explain even if you are traveling with your own child, you must put your mask on first so you will be able to help them with theirs.

I used to think to myself, "No way! I am going to help my child first." That is until I really understood the logic and the difference between acting selfishly and practicing self care.  

Simply defined, selfish is being concerned only with yourself to the exclusion of others.  Self care is being actively concerned about yourself AND others. In practicing self care we are including ourselves in our list of most important people and others will benefit too. 

Many of us make attending to the needs and wants of others first a way of life. This just comes naturally to us. Like blinking, we may not even realize we are doing it. We may be born caretakers, worriers, controllers or just innately nurturing. There are times this may prove to be harmful to us, in many ways, if we are not taking care of ourselves. 

That is until something happens.  We may have feelings which have been building up for a long time.  Yet, it seems as if all of a sudden, we experience anger, sadness, resentment, anxiety, frustration, feel completely drained and/or become physically ill.  It is only then that we realize we have reached our own breaking point.  We have given so much of ourselves to others but not enough to ourselves.  As a result, now we 'cannot breathe'. Two of the most commonly used terms to describe this crisis state are "caregiver stress" and "burnout".

If we cannot breathe  how much help can we really be to anyone else? We must always remember to put our mask on first so that we can be there for ourselves and others. I came to embrace this way of thinking as not being selfish at all, but rather, participating in my own self care program.

I am a mother, a wife, a sibling, a friend, a volunteer, a blogger and a practicing therapist. I was also the adult child of aging parents, (now deceased), and openly admit I have suffered from caregiver stress in the past.

I have come to understand that to be the best I can be, (at any or all of these roles), I must take care of myself and allow others to help me ,as well.  

Believing in self care is not selfish.  It is the only lasting way to be of service to myself and others.

I hope you will consider putting your mask on first too!
Victoria










Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ruby Slippers - You Have Them Too!


What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
       ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


One of my favorite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz. The story encapsulates all the principle elements of what I call Positive Adaptation.

You probably know the story line; a girl named Dorothy finds herself in a situation she neither knows how she got into nor how to get out from. She is told to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Oz where she will find the "all knowing, all powerful Wizard of Oz". Once there, he will provide the solution to her problem. Sound familiar?

Dorothy heads out on a fantastic journey where she meets three guides. They want to help her find her way home and hope the Wizard can help them too. The Scarecrow wants a brain, (think), Tin Man wants a heart, (feel), and the Lion wants courage, (do). 

The Wicked Witch of the West wants what Dorothy has, the Ruby Slippers. She does everything within her power to get the Ruby Slippers from Dorothy before she can reach the Wizard.  The wicked witch fails and the group returns victorious to Oz, feeling empowered and worthy of the Wizard's help.

Once there, they discover the Wizard is not really a wizard at all, but merely a human being.  Still, he is able to help the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. He points out, as shown by their own actions, they already possess within them, what is they were searching for. 

And then there is Dorothy; happy for her friends but still not sure how she will get what she wants, to find her way home.

Poof! Glinda, the Good Witch of the North appears and explains to Dorothy that she has also had the ability with her the entire time, represented by the Ruby Slippers. She needed only to know it and to learn how to use them. Remember....click your heals together three times?

Dorothy and her Ruby Slippers remind us that other people can help us but we must not rely solely upon them to 'fix' us or to 'make us' happy.  We need to continue on our own paths using our guides of thinking, feeling and doing.  We must maintain the self  assurance that we already possess within us what it takes to get 'better' and be 'happier' and have the willingness to seek it. 

Try living Positive Adaptation and you too will discover you have your own pair of 'Ruby Slippers'. You can learn how to use them and achieve your own 'hearts desire'








Friday, July 1, 2016

What Matters Is What Happens In You!


"Things may happen around you
and things may happen to you,
but the only thing that really matters
is what happens in you."
~Elise Robinson

Whether we are in the midst of chaos, just getting by or doing well, we can always do better! We need to fill our minds with positivity to seek out opportunities and solutions, which until now, we had yet to consider. To achieve this, we must change how we view ourselves and our world around us.

We all need a plan, a road map if you will. Positive Adaptation is just that: 'Think, Feel and Do' your best and then you will live and enjoy life to the fullest.

When faced with a 'problem' or you are baffled as to what to do next, instead of being fearful or angry, try looking at it for what it really is: an opportunity for positive personal growth.

'Think, Feel and Do' differently than you have in the past. Open your heart and mind to all the of possibilities. With this type of positive view, (and actions), your results are much more likely to be positive, as well.

In our ongoing search for our best selves, a life filled with love, health and happiness, let us remember what matters most is what happens inside of ourselves.

Victoria