What If??

What if I told you that many already believe that this latest pandemic was inevitable?  Interestingly, these ‘new’ pathogens keep coming around, often as a result of contact with abused and cruelly treated animals.  What if I told you the Earth, being a living organism has an intelligence and can create things, just like our immune system can, to try to throw off a pathogen?  Who do you think is the biggest pathogen on Mother Earth now?  You may have heard that there are far too many of us for the Earth to sustain at our present rate of resource use.  Is she is again trying to bring herself back in balance?

If this virus was again created by the Earth to fling off her worst pathogen, then can we accept her right to do so to stay alive?

I tend to take a non-panicked long view of things and when everyone is running screaming out one door, I look for another door entirely.  It’s not a popular door to find, but I am not alone in looking for it either.

I invite you to join me in living without being controlled by F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real.  Fear is much more harmful to your health in the long run than a virus in which at this writing 80% of people infected have mild or no symptoms and up to 96% to 99% recover from the infection according to Dr. Mark Hyman, a Functional Medicine expert.  Those are GREAT odds.

Can we accept that we are more at risk getting in our own car or in our own communities than from this virus with the high survival rate it has?

I invite you to question why the social and other media decided that this virus was worse than say for example the 31 MILLION children that die every year from malnutrition, or 85,000 children a DAY that gets nearly zero attention.

I invite you to put things in perspective and look at other pandemics, rates of flu deaths, cancer and heart disease, car accidents, death from intimate partner violence, and many other causes and see that if this panic is really is worth the worldwide economic, financial and mental toll it has taken and will take for decades to come.

Can we accept that we must own the reason many recent pandemics get started in the first place—our cruel treatment of either wild or non-wild animals?  Are we ready yet to see that the other beings with which we share this planet have a right to be here and not be used and abused by us?  Are we the supreme rulers if they can take us out with a simple virus that many of these animals carry without harm?  Could it be their last defense?

Jane Goodall speaks to this in a video she posted last month.  See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOkBBMFlTpM&fbclid=IwAR22oqUIdSqe4w9kILKlfZRv42P04nONHqjKtqzfYL9zShOP6zsNyWQ_tCU

I often write about the positive impact of nature on our mental and physical health.  This pandemic that is occurring is seriously hampering even reasonable efforts to enjoy what little time we have on this Earth, to find some joy and enhance our immune system.  Locking people in their homes, many of whom then get sucked into social or other media, is akin to throwing gas on the flames.  We did that.  How will we come out of this and be better before the next go-round?  What will you demand of your elected officials to keep this from happening again, or to make sure the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed again?

We will learn from this, hopefully in the right direction.  If we take the view of the Earth and understand it’s all about balance—some will die, some will live and those that live become stronger IF they keep their resources in balance so they are available in an emergency.  Will we get that from this experience or will we continue to cause ourselves more suffering demanding that this ‘go away’ or telling ourselves the story that it’s somehow not acceptable or more tragic if people die from this versus the more likely scenario of a car accident, on their own stairs or in their own bathroom, heart attack or cancer, or starvation?  Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.  If we demand things from this Earth until we are so out of balance that one new virus can throw off our entire population and keep us from having the resources to deal with it, we are choosing suffering.

Prevention is the key to all health challenges.  This virus will be with us, like the flu and other serious pathogens and toxins that we must deal with every day.  There is a way to eat, sleep and take care of yourself that will make you much less susceptible to every bad bug.  I wrote some about this in my recent article called F.S.F.-The New S.O.S.  Contact me for more information or see the article online.

Do what you can to get outside and get some disinfecting UV light and immune enhancing Vitamin D from the sun.  During epidemics in the past, hospitals found that opening up all the windows and bringing patients outside helped survival rates dramatically and it became standard practice for a while.  We lost that wisdom along the way.

It will also help keep your anxiety down if you get your body moving in some way.  You are much more likely to get sick worrying about if you can find enough toilet paper and then running to the store with all the other people in close proximity, with ALL the pathogens we ALL carry, ALL the time.  It’s like throwing yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire!  Don’t do it!  Yes, wash your hands, and practice good hygiene with others but don’t let F.E.A.R. and stress be your undoing!  Fight the F.E.A.R. through PLAY!

I also offer this poem which has been circulating and is well said:

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. 

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

~Kitty O’Meary

I can be reached for life, wellness and family coaching and/or counseling sessions at jteleia@gmail.com, www.YourLifeWellLived.net or 970-462-7098.

 

 

 

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Fear the F.E.A.R. and What to Do Instead

I am sure you are aware by now of the amazing impact the Coronavirus or COV-19 has had around the world, on entire economies and the financial, personal and health lives of it seems, everyone on earth. Corona virus is no worse than a mild flu in most people and the ones it kills are the usual ones that every virus or pathogen like the flu kills—the elderly and/or already ill.  Sad yes, but does not justify the level of reaction by any means based on the real numbers.  Know how many children die per year from undernutrition—31 MILLION.  That’s almost 85,000 children PER DAY.  Where are the alarm bells for that every day?

The worldwide response to this current incarnation of the corona virus baffles the mind when you are so much more likely to get hurt or killed by getting in your own car every day or even crossing the street.  If you are a woman, you are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than this virus (50,000/year worldwide).  Heart failure and accidents in or near your own home are more likely to kill or hurt you on a daily basis.  Are you afraid to go up and down your stairs or get in or out of the bathtub?  No.  Look up the numbers on this and start to question why you are being told this virus is so much worse.  There’s a reason it’s worse and it’s not because it’s going to get you.

How could a basically insignificant virus, that which, at the time of this writing has killed no more than 5000 people out of 7.5 BILLION and spreading no more quickly than the common cold or flu getting the kind of attention and response this is?  One word F.E.A.R.– or False Evidence Appearing Real.  I believe that irresponsible, inflammatory journalism didn’t look at the facts in perspective and had a field day with making a small amount of the ‘unknown’ seem worse than it was because of a financial motive to get people to watch, tune in, etc. to their shows, programs and social media sites.  Politicians under pressure  to DO something by this fear mongering made them make senseless and illogical decisions instead of un-alarming the public.

It is our right AND our responsibility in this day and age to think critically and question the information being given to us in the news, by the reporters, the talking heads and the politicians about pretty much everything.  What is the reality of this virus in perspective to other illnesses or things that cause death?  It’s the same as with HIV in proportion to cancer.  The attention HIV got and the subsequent funding, far outweighed that of cancer, a much more common deadly disease that also takes a terrible toll on its victims and their loved ones.

Who gets to decide that one disease or problem is the worse one?  Why does the media get to decide what’s news one day and gone the next?  Are the fires in Australia still burning?  We wouldn’t know unless you go dig for it because the major media stop paying attention to it about half way through because it got old.  The virus was new and could be made scarier because it could impact more people, so more people would tune in.  That’s the mind set of the news creators.  They think they can lead us around by the nose.  I reject that lack of respect in humanity.

The media and our political system know how to play on F.E.A.R. and we are falling for it.  For our actual health, this must stop.  The stress alone is more likely to lower your immunity and cause you more damage short and long term than the actual virus!   Question everything by asking ‘Compared to what?’.  When someone makes big, scary claims, grab that F.E.A.R. by the throat and start asking ‘compared to what?’ and see if there is a loss of perspective.

F.E.A.R. means big money for some people, especially the pharmaceutical industry and the media.  So the next challenge to you is to always ‘follow the money.’  You may have heard of this tactic because so many times, once you do, you always find a profit motive behind the fear-mongering.  Our brains are evolved to pay attention more to fearful or anxiety provoking information.  This is the ‘negativity bias’ that is meant only to keep us safe from immediate and lethal threats.  This part of the brain evolved from a much earlier, more simple ‘lizard’ brain but its overuse in this day and age by those who control information dissemination are manipulating this effect.  This keeps us so distracted it is a challenge to evolve further to better develop our higher level brain skills like critical thinking unless we really try harder not to be sucked into by the lizard brain.  Indeed, we should be taught these skills at home and school as a matter of course but we are not.

This virus is just a variant on one that has been around for a while and it will continue to come back around every year like the various strains of the cold and flu that can’t be eradicated no matter how many vaccines they try to throw at it.  Viruses and other pathogens are incredibly clever at diversifying and do so by NOT killing their host so they can replicate, evolve and pass themselves on.  That’s why there is still no cure for the common cold.

What we DO know about how to fight illness and disease is back to the basics—and what I wrote about recently in my F.S.F.—The New S.O.S.  The food you eat has a huge impact on your gut and therefore your immunity since most chemicals needed for your immune system are made there.  Food choices also impact tremendously on our mental function and mood so healthy food will help you be more ready to use ALL your brain power, not just your lizard brain.  It will also help you keep your anxiety as the neurotransmitters we need for mood balance are almost all made in your gut.  Sleep is also key in keeping your immunity strong as is stress relieving or FUN activities.  You are much more likely to get sick worrying about if you can find enough toilet paper and then running to the store with all the other people in close proximity, with ALL the pathogens we ALL carry, ALL the time.  It’s like throwing yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire!  Don’t do it!  Go to the beach or elsewhere in nature, watch a funny movie, hug and get hugged.  Yes, wash your hands but don’t let F.E.A.R. and stress be your undoing!  Fight the F.E.A.R. with F.S.F. and go PLAY!

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Fear the F.E.A.R. and What to Do Instead

I am sure you are aware by now of the amazing impact the Coronavirus or COV-19 has had around the world, on entire economies and the financial, personal and health lives of it seems, everyone on earth. Corona virus is no worse than a mild flu in most people and the ones it kills are the usual ones that every virus or pathogen like the flu kills—the elderly and/or already ill.  Sad yes, but does not justify the level of reaction by any means based on the real numbers.  Know how many children die per year from undernutrition—31 MILLION.  That’s almost 85,000 children PER DAY.  Where are the alarm bells for that every day?

The worldwide response to this current incarnation of the corona virus baffles the mind when you are so much more likely to get hurt or killed by getting in your own car every day or even crossing the street.  If you are a woman, you are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than this virus (50,000/year worldwide).  Heart failure and accidents in or near your own home are more likely to kill or hurt you on a daily basis.  Are you afraid to go up and down your stairs or get in or out of the bathtub?  No.  Look up the numbers on this and start to question why you are being told this virus is so much worse.  There’s a reason it’s worse and it’s not because it’s going to get you.

How could a basically insignificant virus, that which, at the time of this writing has killed no more than 5000 people out of 7.5 BILLION and spreading no more quickly than the common cold or flu getting the kind of attention and response this is?  One word F.E.A.R.– or False Evidence Appearing Real.  I believe that irresponsible, inflammatory journalism didn’t look at the facts in perspective and had a field day with making a small amount of the ‘unknown’ seem worse than it was because of a financial motive to get people to watch, tune in, etc. to their shows, programs and social media sites.  Politicians under pressure  to DO something by this fear mongering made them make senseless and illogical decisions instead of un-alarming the public.

It is our right AND our responsibility in this day and age to think critically and question the information being given to us in the news, by the reporters, the talking heads and the politicians about pretty much everything.  What is the reality of this virus in perspective to other illnesses or things that cause death?  It’s the same as with HIV in proportion to cancer.  The attention HIV got and the subsequent funding, far outweighed that of cancer, a much more common deadly disease that also takes a terrible toll on its victims and their loved ones.

Who gets to decide that one disease or problem is the worse one?  Why does the media get to decide what’s news one day and gone the next?  Are the fires in Australia still burning?  We wouldn’t know unless you go dig for it because the major media stop paying attention to it about half way through because it got old.  The virus was new and could be made scarier because it could impact more people, so more people would tune in.  That’s the mind set of the news creators.  They think they can lead us around by the nose.  I reject that lack of respect in humanity.

The media and our political system know how to play on F.E.A.R. and we are falling for it.  For our actual health, this must stop.  The stress alone is more likely to lower your immunity and cause you more damage short and long term than the actual virus!   Question everything by asking ‘Compared to what?’.  When someone makes big, scary claims, grab that F.E.A.R. by the throat and start asking ‘compared to what?’ and see if there is a loss of perspective.

F.E.A.R. means big money for some people, especially the pharmaceutical industry and the media.  So the next challenge to you is to always ‘follow the money.’  You may have heard of this tactic because so many times, once you do, you always find a profit motive behind the fear-mongering.  Our brains are evolved to pay attention more to fearful or anxiety provoking information.  This is the ‘negativity bias’ that is meant only to keep us safe from immediate and lethal threats.  This part of the brain evolved from a much earlier, more simple ‘lizard’ brain but its overuse in this day and age by those who control information dissemination are manipulating this effect.  This keeps us so distracted it is a challenge to evolve further to better develop our higher level brain skills like critical thinking unless we really try harder not to be sucked into by the lizard brain.  Indeed, we should be taught these skills at home and school as a matter of course but we are not.

This virus is just a variant on one that has been around for a while and it will continue to come back around every year like the various strains of the cold and flu that can’t be eradicated no matter how many vaccines they try to throw at it.  Viruses and other pathogens are incredibly clever at diversifying and do so by NOT killing their host so they can replicate, evolve and pass themselves on.  That’s why there is still no cure for the common cold.

What we DO know about how to fight illness and disease is back to the basics—and what I wrote about recently in my F.S.F.—The New S.O.S.  The food you eat has a huge impact on your gut and therefore your immunity since most chemicals needed for your immune system are made there.  Food choices also impact tremendously on our mental function and mood so healthy food will help you be more ready to use ALL your brain power, not just your lizard brain.  It will also help you keep your anxiety as the neurotransmitters we need for mood balance are almost all made in your gut.  Sleep is also key in keeping your immunity strong as is stress relieving or FUN activities.  You are much more likely to get sick worrying about if you can find enough toilet paper and then running to the store with all the other people in close proximity, with ALL the pathogens we ALL carry, ALL the time.  It’s like throwing yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire!  Don’t do it!  Go to the beach or elsewhere in nature, watch a funny movie, hug and get hugged.  Yes, wash your hands but don’t let F.E.A.R. and stress be your undoing!  Fight the F.E.A.R. with F.S.F. and go PLAY!

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No More Lonely Hearts

I hate Valentine’s Day.  Yep, I wrote that.  It’s a made-up ‘Hallmark holiday’ by retailers after the holiday slump trying to get us to buy more stuff we don’t need, especially candy.  Besides the negative impact on our physical health, Valentine’s Day is often very upsetting for lonely people or those in difficult or unhappy relationships.  I have written before about loneliness being extremely widespread and that it has more of an impact on physical health than smoking or obesity.  The research on it is worth repeating.

The U.S. Senate Commission on Aging has convened meetings to discuss elevating loneliness to a public health priority on the same level as smoking and obesity.  Other research has shown if someone has less than three confidants, they are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease and twice as likely to die from all other causes than those with more confidants.   Loneliness is also correlated with cognitive decline, dementia and mental health problems.

It’s not just a problem for older people.  Veterans are more likely to commit suicide because of loneliness and the loss of the ‘brotherhood’ that they had in the service, than from war related trauma.  The pain centers in the brain light up the same way in people experiencing loneliness or perceived rejection as actual pain.  It DOES hurt.  Lonely people also get sick more easily and feel worse when they do than non-lonely people.

Young people 16-24 years old, in a recent British survey, reported being the loneliest among all age groups, even though they are the ones with typically better health and easy access to large peer groups.  This has held true in studies of American youth too.  They report being more lonely and isolated than any other group or in past research.  In another study of adults, over half of those married reported feeling chronic loneliness.

I want to challenge each one of us to reach out to someone who appears to be alone.  Even if it seems they are fine, reach out and say ‘hello,’ ask the how they are doing, ask them a simple question or two about themselves, LISTEN and do it regularly.  Refrain from talking about yourself immediately unless asked directly.  I’ve noticed far too many people have few social skills and talk endlessly about themselves without making any real connection to the one they think is listening—and they aren’t after about the first few minutes.

Making a difference to ONE person can change a life for the better.  We are programmed biologically to be connected to each other, much like the dolphins and whales who must live in close community or they will die.  It is up to us to change this isolation we all live in.

It’s not just about reaching out to elders who may live alone or not have much family but also to children and teens so they know there are safe adults who they can turn to.  People really don’t expect that much.  A little kindness, taking an interest in what they are interested in, speaking to them regularly, letting them know about you and that you are safe—and then BE that safe person.  Ask before giving hugs, don’t tell or agree to keep ‘secrets’, go meet their family members as you pass by, walk with them, bring them healthy treats with parent/guardian permission first and above all, play and laugh with them-even in the simplest ways like throwing a ball or asking them to show you how they do something.  Anything can be meaningful and will be appreciated in the long run.  Remember that connected kids become safe teens and safe adults.  We need more of them.

For other age groups, it is much the same.  Being more than the neighbor that just waves and goes inside used to be the norm.  Let’s bring that back.  Being outside is good for you anyway so it can easily segue to a conversation or an invitation for coffee when you see them.  Sharing the excess fruit, herbs or veggies from the yard is a great way to connect.  Better yet make them some food in a dish that has to be returned and see what happens. Time tested ways still work.  Don’t give up if initially your efforts are met with apprehension.  We have become so isolated in general that we don’t know what to do when someone reaches out for no ‘reason.’  Keep trying.

You never know when someone who appears to be part of a couple or family could be the loneliest person on your street.  Sometimes this is the most isolating of all kinds of loneliness because difficult close relationships can be the most painful of all, especially because they are ‘supposed’ to be the opposite.  Rarely will people experiencing this disclose or even realize it.  Not making assumptions and reaching out anyway can be the beginning of turning the tide for someone.  What a powerful initiator of change we can all be just by being committed to reaching out!

Funny thing is, when we reach out in a non-judgmental effort to help someone else, it makes our own lives richer through greater compassion for others and ourselves.  So whether or not you are lonely, it will help YOU to reach out.  Love and caring should be expressed 365 days a year in a thousand ways, not just acknowledged on one made-up day.

Going outside to play in the yard or taking a walk down the street and setting an intention to talk to everyone you meet are just some ways to start changing your OWN life for the better and changing our world so that there are no more lonely hearts.

I can be reached for life, wellness and family coaching and/or counseling sessions at jteleia@gmail.com, www.YourLifeWellLived.net or 970-462-7098.

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Got Joy and FUN? We ALL need more of it!

Are you having enough FUN?!  F.U.N. is Fundamental Universal Need.  We all need it–literally–for our brains to work right.  I create and facilitate retreats based on the principle that FUN is transformative and essential to living an inspired, balanced and healthy life.  The next one is during the New Moon around July 19-25, 2020 in Bimini, Bahamas and YOU’RE INVITED! Click HERE for more information!

The NEW MOON is the best time for transformation, manifesting and re-birth.  What do you need to transform in your life? Do you need some F.U.N., some bonding time with your friends, your family, your SELF?! What wants to be born or come to fruition within you?  What do you know is dying to get out, to change, to transform, to be heard and seen?  What needs to change in your life? What are you saying “Yes” to that you need to say “No” to and what are you saying “No” to that you need to say “Yes” to??!

We NEED F.U.N. and JOY like air and water. Come with me and you will have a peak wilderness experience you will never forget with the world’s most intelligent and compassionate beings–the dolphins and whales (or Cetaceans as they are known to Cetacean geeks like me). Being with dolphins will likely propel you into a brain state that makes challenges seem like child’s play, and PLAY we will.  These experiences will open up new areas of your brain, problem solving, creativity and EASE with which to make the changes you already know are within and need to come out!

For over 20 years now, I have seen these amazing beings, over and over, help with personal transformation and re-claiming JOY! Indeed, the mantra of the retreat center is “Happy, Healing and Harmonious”. Do you need that in your life?

I have found places around the world that are not overwhelmed with people so you can have a truly meaningful interaction with wild Cetaceans.  I will be facilitating a group experience with the Spotted (and maybe the Bottlenose) dolphins that frequent Bimini’s waters. For 6 nights, 5 days on the water (plan on a week altogether), playing in the turquoise waters full of amazing Caribbean sea life and coral reefs. The waters off Bimini are like a pool-very easy to see and swim, and the dolphins are not crowded by tourist boats. All you have to do is get to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and the rest is taken care of.

There are only 10 slots so let me know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid disappointment. Many of the weeks are full already since the trips fill up a year in advance so the time to book is NOW.

Could this be your gift to yourself or someone else? A new year, a new you? A more bonded family? A transformed relationship with yourself or someone else? What will this new moon experience awaken in you?

Here’s the details :For the base price of $2020 for our retreat in 2020:
What’s Included:
**A coaching and/or counseling session before AND after the retreat to help you clarify and implement a healing or wellness goal. I will also be available to help you process anything that comes up during our magical encounters with the dolphins (and the humans). Magical doesn’t always mean without challenges but those are the richest moments of personal growth, including being afraid of being in deep water with wild animals. It is a moment of transformation just to get in the water!
**A new moon ritual during and after the new moon and we’ll use this inspiration throughout the week. (Participation in any retreat activity always up to you.)
**All accommodations (Sunday night in Fort Lauderdale and 5 nights on the island based on double occupancy).
**Boat trips (5 days out weather permitting) on a very stable catamaran.
**Most meals (but see what’s not included below) mostly organic, healthy meals, and can cater for most dietary needs.
**Group meditation and/or yoga will be offered each day.
**Shuttle transfer from the hotel to the airport on the Monday morning.
**Airport transfers on the island upon arrival on Monday and upon departure on Saturday, when traveling with the group.                                                         **Complimentary use of kayaks and bicycles.
**Wifi connection, where available.
**Filtered water, coffee and teas, lemonade and iced fruit tea, regular and non-dairy milk, and honey.
**Plenty of time to look for shells, stroll the beach, relax, rejuvenate and rekindle yourself!
**Friendships you’ll never forget and a relationship with yourself and/or others that might surprise you.

What’s NOT Included:
**Travel costs to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and travel costs to/from Bimini on a small private plane ($390).
**Crew Gratuities 10-15% of the retreat cost–this amounts to between approximately $200-285.
**Single room and ocean view room upgrade.
**Sunday night dinner in Fort Lauderdale and one group dinner out on Bimini.
**All individual body work sessions. The cost is $95 for an hour. **Rental of snorkel equipment is $25 for the set or $10 for fins only. **Retreat photos when available $65.
**Bahamas Departure Tax $29. Subject to change. This must be paid in cash on departure from Bimini.
**Bahamas Airport Tax of $33 (includes Civil Aviation screening fee of $8). Subject to change.
**Travel Insurance

QUESTIONS?? Nothing is too small to ask! Let me know! Make your plans! I will need deposits of 25% as soon as possible to make sure we get our slots.
I plan and organize these retreats sometimes more than a year in advance and only add a small fee to off-set SOME of my own costs. This retreat is being offered at an INTRODUCTORY COST.

BONUS: If I get more than 10 participants (before the retreat center gets another 11 to fill up the week), I will offer a small rebate to anyone who brings more than 2 people. I don’t know how much until I know the final number.

See the website for more information! http://www.yourlifewelllived.net/BiminiRetreat2020.html

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A New Year, A New Decade–and We’re All Just Crack Pots

This is a good time to share one of my favorite quotes from the father of modern psychology, Carl Rogers:

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

This is indeed a paradox and hard to believe, but in fact, it is what I spend much of my time working on with clients and sure enough, their life goes in the direction they want.  I see people as whole, resourceful and not ‘broken’, just as they are and help them see that in themselves.  Sure enough it brings out their potential and they can in fact, achieve their goals.  I encourage my clients to throw out the self-help books and even though New Year’s resolutions seem like a good idea, they are sometimes counterproductive.

I do an exercise with people (and myself) sometimes to switch around the when and then stories we tell ourselves.  For example, often people will say something like, “WHEN I lose weight, THEN I’ll be happy.”  I have them change it to “WHEN I’m happy, THEN I will lose weight.”  What would it be like for you to switch around your WHEN and THEN stories?  Would life be more fun then?  What if you committed to being happy, which means no self recriminations or shaming?  Shaming and self recrimination never gets anyone anywhere nearer their goals.  Kindness and compassion move mountains.  This sounds simple but it’s not always easy and sometimes we need help with this shift.

Only through acceptance of all of yourself can you really grow and change because when you are in a state of acceptance, it relieves stress.  Only when the body and mind are relaxed can healing happen, literally.  When the stress response is constantly running, even at a low level—like a low grade fever, very little healing, problem solving or creativity can happen.  The body is in a state of ‘fight or flight’ and all its resources, including mental, physical, emotional and spiritual are being used just to manage the destructive bio-chemical and hormonal bath of this stress state.

I like the story of the Cracked Pot to illustrate this concept.  You may have heard the expression that someone is a ‘crack pot’ (not a drug reference 😊).  The author is unknown but let me know if you know who wrote this!

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.  After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”   Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your ‘flaw,’ and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws.  We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.  What if you just took yourself and others for what they are, and looked for the good in yourself and them?  How would things change for you if you believed there was nothing wrong with you? 

There is a lot of good out there.  There is a lot of good in us!  Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.  Remember to appreciate yourself and all the different people in your life!  First of all, go outside and play, have some fun and be grateful.

I can be reached for life, wellness and family coaching and/or counseling sessions at jteleia@gmail.com, www.YourLifeWellLived.net or 970-462-7098.

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The Gift of Pain

I read a book a while back called “The Gift of Pain” and I wanted to share the inspiration I got from it and from something else I read recently.  I do this because I know a lot of people who are currently mourning something—the election and what it means for the future, the loss of a dream, the loss of a friendship, the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, among other things.

I witness peoples’ pain everyday in my work and it can overwhelm if I let it.  But I don’t.  Because I know it’s a gift.  It’s a gift not only to witness someone’s pain but especially to help them transform it.   Humans are really good at creating meaning and growing and learning from our pain.  This self healing is actually a natural process and it is only stunted when something gets in the way.  If we opened ourselves to the gift in the pain—to find meaning and purpose in what we are going through, it suddenly poofs into something much more manageable.

There is a flip side to pain.  See if you can find it in your own.  For example, the pain many people are experiencing due to the national election results really mean a lot of people are dedicated to tolerance, acceptance, fairness, inclusion, kindness and love.  Hold tight to that!  Hold tight to the flip side!

One writer I like is from a blog called “The Hands Free Revolution” and she says this about the ‘flip side’: “On the flip side of disappointment is desire—desire to create a different outcome next time. On the flip side of letdown is belief—belief that your story is far from over. On the flip side of pain is strength—strength you didn’t know you had until you had to dig deep to find it. On the flip side of hurt is gratitude—gratitude for those who love you and stand by you in your pain. On the other flip of despair is connection—connection that comes from recognizing a familiar look of pain in someone else’s eyes and reaching out your hand. When we give PAIN a PURPOSE by using it to enlighten, comfort, educate, create, or inspire, we can’t help but appreciate who we are now—a stronger, wiser, more compassionate version of who we used to be.  Why would we want to look back?”

Pain gives us opportunity—to connect with others and grow ourselves into better selves.  Growing pains are real.  They hurt.  That hurt can and should be shared as a path to making peace with it.  But making peace with it is essential.  This is not the same as ‘giving up’ or ‘giving in’.  Making peace means seeing the opportunity for growth and purpose.  What is the gift in your pain?

I’m in transition now as I travel for 1 1/2 years.  I don’t know what my next transition will bring but I know one thing for sure:  I will be playing.

I will be playing with the pain of endings, the uncertainty of new beginnings, and certainly just plain playing—in the sea for sure, on the land in new places and hopefully with new friends.

I will be seeking out dolphins and whales to inspire me along the way as I create retreats for reclaiming joy, as well as new sources of cacao!

I hope you will join me on my journey and transform your own pain.  Play with it as much as you can.  If you need help in how to transform it, I am still available to help.

In addition, I will be creating the blog about my travels that I have been meaning to start for years.  Now’s the time.  Contact me to be kept informed and you can also follow me on my Facebook pages.  https://www.facebook.com/CetaceanInspirationWellnessCoachingandRetreats  and https://www.facebook.com/Chocolate4Breakfast

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