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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Keeping the Faith in the Most Difficult Times

byKaren ParsonsonNovember 13 2008inPersonal Development20 Comments

There lives an angel and her name is Miguelina. She is one of the most inspirational people I know.

Her life is dedicated to serving others through education. She believes that the path out of poverty (including her own); an existence of few choices and few resources, is paved through learning.

I would like to share with you the story about Miguelina because it can inspire us to do more with what we have and teach us that keeping the faith works!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Karen Parsons I am Founder and President of Successful Solutions Life Coaching.

In 2002, my husband and I fulfilled our dream of moving to a tropical island. The Dominican Republic has now been our home for the past 6 years.

When I moved here I could not speak Spanish, so I asked around and several people told me to go to the Coral Language Institute in the Dominican Village. The Dominican Village is where many of the local Dominicans live, just slightly inland from the beach town in which I live. They live there because most of the locals cannot afford to live across the street on the ocean side where expensive condominiums are going up at dizzying speed.

When I first went to the school I met Gustavo, the head of the language school and Miguelina his wife who was to be my teacher. As soon as I entered the school, on the dusty dirt road of the Dominican Village, I was so glad that I had decided not to attend the touristy and expensive language school that I had also been referred to. This to me was authentic, the real thing, I was going to learn Spanish from real locals!

Little did I know at the time that Miguelina and I would forge a very special relationship that continues to this day.

First, I have to give you a little background on Miguelina. She grew up in this same Dominican Village. She was the youngest of 18 children! Since she was a little girl she would ask herself the question,

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Stress Relief Tips to Help You Get to the Root of Your Stress

byKaren ParsonsonNovember 10 2008inPersonal Development22 Comments

The following stress relief tips are simple and practical. They will swiftly ease your stress!

Step 1. Become Aware

In a relaxed position, with your eyes closed, picture yourself being stressed. In your mind’s eye, go through every stress symptom that you have.

Feel yourself being stressed. It is imperative that the visualization is very real with powerful emotions attached to it.

Now picture yourself becoming aware that you are stressed. You are now the Observer of your behavior. You see your symptoms but your perception of them is of something separate from you.

It is like a miniature awakening!

You begin to feel empowered because as the Observer you realize that you can change how you are feeling!

Visualize yourself calming down and feeling relaxed.

Feel your stress dissipating!

You are now able to go about your day in a mindful and productive manner.

Finally, tell yourself that the next time you are feeling this way it will be your clue that you are stressed. And you will once again become the Observer of your feelings and use these Stress Relief Tips to overcome your stress.

This was just the dress rehearsal but a very important part of this exercise.

These stress relief tips are helping you train yourself to become more aware!

Step 2. Breathe Deeply

Now go about your day normally, and the next time you experience one of your stress symptoms stop what you are doing and make a conscious choice to transform these debilitating feelings.

Close your eyes, sit back in your chair and take ten deep cleansing breaths.

Breath is life.

When we are stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and labored. This translates into our life being shallow and labored at that moment.

Inhale through your nose and exhale through your nose.

This may be difficult for some of you but do your best to go with it. The benefits are worth it!

When you inhale through your nose your breath is being filtered and warmed as it enters the body. When you exhale through the nose it slows down your breathing, creating a more relaxed breathing pattern. In yoga, it is sometimes said that you use your mouth for eating and your nose for breathing.

If you don’t feel your symptoms dissipating and your stress evaporating it means that you aren’t breathing properly. Don’t do this exercise if you are just going to go through the motions. Take the time to do ten deep and cleansing breathes.

They should be unforced; when you are done you should definitely feel more peaceful.

If you are driving or with someone or for any other reason unable to close your eyes and stop what you are doing, you can still relax and de-stress yourself; simply by turning your attention inwards. Focus on your breath.

If you are speaking, focus your attention on your words, feel yourself slowing down, feel yourself becoming more present.

If you are listening to someone speak then focus your attention on the other person, on his or her words, what do their words really mean?

If you are reading, slow down, look at each word on the page, absorb them.

The bottom line is:

Focus your attention on what it is that you are doing at that moment!

Step 3. Reflect

After the ten deep breathes and while still sitting in your chair (or as soon as possible afterward) with your eyes closed, reflect on why you were feeling stressed.

Trace each thought and connecting thought until you get to the source of your anxiety. If you have trouble remembering, don’t be hard on yourself, it will become easier with practice.

The next time you feel the tension coming back, stop what you are doing, but this time, analyze the cause of your anxiety before you do your ten deep breathes.

Be honest with yourself.

Sometimes we know what has caused our problems but the reasons may seem embarrassing to us or scary and we prefer to leave it to live in the subconscious.

Now with the thoughts clearly in your mind let us move onto the next part of the Stress Relief Tips.

Step 4. Live in the Now

It is time to examine the thoughts; to look at them as the Observer, unemotionally and detached from them.

Most of us become stressed for one of two reasons:

We are thinking of the past, or we are thinking of the future.

It’s true! When you explore your feelings, you will see that you were worried about being late for something, not meeting a deadline, worried about your health or someone else’s. Worried about the state of the world, fearful of losing your job, afraid of not having enough money and so on.

You were thinking of the future. Or you were thinking about how you should have done this or should have done that, you are mad at your boss or spouse or parents for something in your past. You are angry because of being wronged in your past. You are upset because of how you went off of your diet. If only I did this or said that then none of this would have happened and so on.

You are thinking in the past.

When you become mindful of the present moment, your stress disappears.

Now that you are aware of the thoughts that are at the root of your tension; what are you going to about them?

Some of you may have more success if you write them down. Some of you may not take the time, so just thinking about them is fine.

As you reflect on each thought, come up with a solution.

If you are worried about money, what is it that you can do right now to help with your financial issues? Can you write up a budget for yourself, can you go ask your boss for a raise? How can you simplify your life so you can spend less money? How can you become more efficient and productive, freeing up more time to earn extra money?

If you are worried about not sticking to your diet, what can you do right now that will help? If you are upset because of feeling wronged in your past, what practices can you undertake to work on your anger and resentment?

How can you move on?

Alleviating your stress requires a transformation of your thoughts!

This transformation may take some time but the journey begins with awareness. When you use these stress relief tips you will gradually become more conscious of what has triggered your stress.

You don’t need to be alone on your journey. I am here to help!

Join the consciousness revolution that is underway!

I hope these stress relief tips were helpful!

About Karen Parsons

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Moving Towards Wisdom, Beauty & Strength

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By which my friend Eleutherios assures me is the Kabbalistic (and poetic) equivalent of Steve Pavlina’s three principles of personal growth; truth (wisdom), love (beauty) and power (strength).

This post has been a long time in coming, and in it I’ll explain why in order for me to move towards truth, love and power, I’ve decided to close Life Coaches Blog.

Be Willing to Change Everything in Your Life

In David Deida’s book The Way of the Superior Man, he talks about how you must be willing to change everything in your life when necessary.

A man must be prepared to give 100% to his purpose, fulfill his karma or dissolve it, and then let go of that specific form of living. He must be capable of not knowing what to do with his life, entering a period of unknowingness and waiting for a vision or a new form of purpose to emerge. These cycles of strong specific action followed by periods of not knowing what the hell is going on are natural for a man who is shedding layers of karma in his relaxation into truth.

But when do you know it’s time to let go of something and move on?

Among the signs of fulfilling or completing a layer of purpose are these:

1. You suddenly have no interest whatsoever in a project or mission that, just previously, motivated you highly.

2. You feel surprisingly free of any regrets whatsoever, for starting the project or for ending it.

3. Even though you may not have the slightest idea of what you are going to do next, you feel clear, unconfused, and, especially, unburdened.

4. You feel an increase in energy at the prospect of ceasing your involvement with the project.

5. The project seems almost silly, like collecting shoelaces or wallpapering your house with gas station receipts. Sure, you could do it, but why would you want to?

3 years ago, I started Life Coaches Blog with enthusiasm, fire, desire and a real hope to help the world and improve my life in the process. Today, I feel all 5 points Deida lists above when I think about this blog.

It’s not that I’ve lost my passion for personal growth

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