I want to thank everyone who subscribes to this blog, and/or who visits on a regular basis, and/or who have participated in the 21 Day Health Transformation, and/or those of you viewing this site for the very first time! It is because of you that this site is becoming so successful! Earlier this week we had a record number of visits, and it has been building constantly, although we are still only a few months old. Thanks everyone!!
As a special reward, I am excited to announce a free contest that any one of you could win!!!
As part of this free contest, GoodLife Fitness has offered to give away two tickets for GoodLife Fitness Health & Wellness Leadership Summit , ($500+ value), a book “Living the Good Life” written by David Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness, and a GoodLife Fitness bag.
All you have to do to be eligible to win this free contest is to leave a message here telling us … how you motivate yourself to stay healthy.
Just comment at the bottom of this post…it’s as simple as that. And by doing so, maybe you can help motivate someone else to transform their lives, or even just give them hope when they are feeling down…anything and everything we can do to spread light in this world!
I’ll announce the winners on Thursday, September 27.
The GoodLife Fitness Health & Wellness Leadership Summit will be held on October 4 in Toronto. This summit is a national event series designed to provide Canadian organizations with innovations required to improve productivity in the workplace. By addressing emerging trends in Fitness Health & Wellness, Organizational Culture/Performance and Leadership Development, delegates will be empowered to initiate proactive measures to compete and succeed in an increasingly competitive and evolving market place.
Key speakers will include Jessica Holmes, comedian and author, Yvonne Campus, Discovery Channel’s Eco-Challenge, and David Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness.”
My wife and I, and brothers in law used to watch the Eco-Challenge on TV every year, and it seemed the craziest, coolest event anyone could ever do…so personally I am totally psyched to hear that message. I have read another book by David Patchell-Evans, and it had some great info in it, and everyone needs to learn more about managing stress through humour in their life!
I am excited for you because this sounds like an inspiring and educational event.
What I am going to ask is please spread this post about this free contest around. Put it on facebook, tweet it, email it to your friends…share it all around.
With your help, together, all of us….we can make a difference in this world…one person at a time!!
I just learned that a pure hearted Reiki man by the name of Don Beckett passed away. I saw it on twitter. I am not even sure what happened to him. But it seems he is gone.
A few years ago I had pneumonia, and I was in a weakened state. I bought a book by Don Beckett, and it was such an amazing book I emailed him to tell him so. He also had a website that discussed things I had not up til that point even contemplated. He had traveled throughout the world teaching and healing.
We connected via internet and email. He gave me free energy sessions to strengthen me, and I felt the power of his healing, even at such a distance. He was a true healer. He was unselfish. He gave all he had to whoever needed it without question.
I thought to myself I really wanted to meet this man. I have so much to learn from him!
But then life got busy and I kept thinking someday I will meet this man in person and train with him.But I never did. And now it is too late.
I am lying in bed typing this into Evernote on my Blackberry with the intention of posting this on my blog at YourStressIsGone.com tomorrow so that I will never forget what an error I made in assuming I could always meet him. I was wrong…and I need to come away with a lesson from this. I need to ensure that I proactively reach out for things that I know are important for me, even if they are not easy at that moment.
I keep discovering there are no guarantees in life. We cannot assume anything. We need to live life in the moment. We need to savour every second. We need to live like indeed there is no tomorrow.
Everything happens for a reason. And if I had gone and met him I likely wouldn’t be writing this right now. So perhaps this was meant to be…and hopefully this message will inspire someone to take action on something important to them…so that they don’t learn from twitter that they were just to late.
I want to share with you a book that I have probably read 8 times, cover to cover over the past couple of years, and each time it has always cut to the roots of my soul. The book is entitled “Zero Limits – The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace and More” by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD. There is something about this book that connects with me, deeply, and yet never in exactly the same way.
Here is a quote from Morrhan Nalamaku Simeona, the creator of modern Ho’oponopono, and who was named a Living Treasure by the State of Hawaii in 1983: “Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word and deed, or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”
Read that quote about Ho’oponopono over and over, and try to let it sink into your mind and your soul. What does it mean? How can it help us? I think to really understand what she is saying, you need to read the book (I got it from Chapters, but maybe it is available from your local library?)
The book details Joe Vitale’s quest to meet the man who has carried on the tradition of Ho’oponopono. Joe had found an article on the internet about a counsellor who had healed an entire wing of “mental hospital” with out ever seeing the patients. Joe was intrigued to find out more about this, and it started him down a road of self discovery.
I am not sure I can describe with any degree of clarity what exactly Ho’oponopono is, and how it works, but each time I read it, digest it, and practice it…it gets a little bit clearer (at least in my own mind) for me. Ho’oponopono is about taking personal responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life, whether you feel it is your doing or not. It is about working on yourself, on healing yourself. And only then, once you have healed yourself on that matter, can that matter be solved.
4 Basic Phrases of Ho’oponopono
Dr. Hew Len taught Joe (and many others) 4 basic phrases to say constantly in Ho’oponopono, to work on yourself, in a process he calls “cleaning”.
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
If you feel you have been wronged by someone, Dr. Hew Len is saying that in Ho’oponopono you have to clean your own mind, your own thoughts, and only by doing this will you help the situation. So if someone does something you think is backstabbing you, you need to take personal responsibility for causing it somehow, because reality only exists inside your mind…so somehow you must have created the incident. It is YOUR life.
What threw me at first is I thought I was being asked to say those words to the person I was angry with. Why should I ask this person to forgive me, when they have been the one who has wronged me? But with further readings about Ho’oponopono in the book, it began to dawn on me that I am saying this to myself, to the higher consciousness or the Divine within myself. As Dr. Hew Len said “I was simply cleaning the part of me that I share with them.”
Ho’oponopono says that there are 2 ways to live your life, “from memory or from inspiration. Memories are old programs replaying. Inspiration is the Divine giving you a message. The only way to hear the Divine and receive inspiration is to clean all memories. The only thing you have to do is clean.”
This is so powerful.
Ho’oponopono: Memories or Inspiration?
Are you just replaying old thoughts again and again and again? Is your mind cluttered with old memories (that may not even be accurate any more) that do nothing except cause you to hold yourself down, to not allow yourself to achieve the happiness and greatness that you could.
What would it be like if you could actually free your mind to receive inspiration directly from the Divine? How empowering would that be? How different would you feel? How would your life be different.
The other day I was out for my power walk. There is an intersection with a very quick light, and so the do not walk sign flashes up before I can even take a few steps. I waited as I should for the light to turn green, and started to cross in a proper fashion. As I was crossing, a car pulled up close to me and honked. I turned and saw an older gentleman sitting there, quite irate, shaking his finger back and forth, and pointing to the do now walk sign (however the traffic signal was still green). He was so mad at me, when the do not walk clearly said DO NOT WALK.
I kept walking, feeling shaken, and then an anger overcame me. I thought what a pompous crusty old bugger. I’ll bet he has never bothered to walk across a road, he always drives his big old Benz. But then I began to think about Ho’oponopono. I thought about what I had read, and realized that I had caused this somehow. I had to take personal responsibility for it, and clean my mind. So I said what I had learned…
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
IMMEDIATELY all my anger and feeling of hurt dissipated. My breathing calmed and cleared. I felt strangely serene and happy. It was wonderful.
Whenever I think of things from the past, things that are not happy, I realize I am living my life from memories that keep replaying. No matter how bad they are, I just say those four phrases over and over and over…and I always, every single time…feel better. There is something so magical and so powerful about Ho’oponopono.
Please, if you have an opportunity, read this book. You may read it and think I am a lunatic and it is a bunch of mumbo jumbo….but you may also read it, and something about it may strike the core of your soul as it has struck mine.
Meditation and contemplation is an excellent topic to share with you, and I am excited to have our first guest blogger on YourStressIsGone.com contribute it! I have known Jan Wininger for 4 years now, and she has become a close and valued friend (along with her husband Dave). Jan is blessed with an impenetrable zeal for life, and she has the power to bless people with her positive attitude and enthusiasm. I recently learned, she is one of the few that is able to reach a truly deep state of meditation, and so I am so pleased she is sharing her thoughts here with us…..
We incur many kinds of stress from many sources. Naturally we try to lessen our stress. Some people do this by exercise, others may prefer listening to music, or being absorbed in a hobby, any kind of distraction. However successful those venues may be, they are only temporary. They don’t really solve the problem and may not decrease the stress in a meaningful manner. It is a natural reaction that we seek a way to induce peace and calm within ourselves. A balancing of the negative and positive energies.
“Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass ” -Feltham
“Meditation is the life of the soul; action is the soul of meditation; honor is the reward of action: so meditate , that thou mayst do.”- Quarles
Meditation is both calming and rewarding. Contemplation is rewarding also. These must not be confused.
To contemplate a thought or concept is to focus on its meaning. Contemplating is easier than meditating. To meditate, one must empty one’s mind. Contemplation is focusing on a thought. As you focus, different levels of meaning will emerge. You will begin to mentally associate the idea with the main thought, you will lead yourself to deeper insights and understanding. It is perfectly fine to think while contemplating. The key is maintaining your focus.
We are all on a spiritual path, however, we are all moving at different speeds.
Contemplation and meditation are not easy. They require self/honesty and removing our defences. We are conditioned and taught to be analytical, yet this is counter productive when contemplating and meditating. Contemplation and meditation are about being free to explore. Contemplation will lead you to a clearer understanding of your spiritual nature. When you focus on one thought, eg kindness – you open yourself up to associations connected with it. kindness – perhaps your mother, a friend, an act. It may elicit a feeling. It can be quite rewarding when you focus on the spiritual act of the word kindness. With more experience of contemplation, you will gain and develop a sense of inner peace. This can become a part of your daily routine!
More balance = less stress.
We contemplate everyday without knowing it! How do we contemplate? Begin by finding a quiet place to relax alone. Take your time. Focus on a thought and then think about on its responses and then let the responses multiply. Contemplating may evoke memories, insights. Try to contemplate only one thing at a time. If you don’t succeed the first time, repeat the same thought again at another time until you develop more insights. As you practice, your mind will stray but there still is a connection to the original thought. Contemplating should be pleasurable for you. Its purpose is to become liberated, and not hung up on the process.
Quoting B.Weiss, meditation is still the means for going as deeply into the spiritual realm as is humanly possible. Here you are not bound by a single concept or confined by concentration. Rather, you are saying to your mind, body and soul,”You are free to go wherever you want in your search for spiritual progression. You are not constrained by time or place but can travel to the past or to the future,to lands unknown or known, to places as small as the human heart or as vast as the universe.” Meditation opens the mind to influences on our bodies and souls. These influences could come from past, present or future lives. We can use meditation to resolve personal conflicts so that we can heal. The main purpose of meditation is to achieve inner peace and balance through spirituality.
How to begin?
Begin with short periods of time and gradually increase this period. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and locate any areas of the body that are tense. Send your body a message to relax. Try to blank your mind and let random thoughts just disappear. Mentally empty a glass. Watch all the thoughts pour out of this glass until it is empty. When the glass is empty, seize this exact moment to enjoy the peace by surrendering to it. The mind is very powerful and by giving it free will, it can give us great joy. Mindfulness is awareness of those thoughts, emotions,feelings, perceptions that are occupying us now. The act of meditating will open the door to inner peace and health. By carrying us from everyday awareness into the mindfulness of the present moment – only this moment, and thus into the spiritual values that elevate our souls, meditation frees us to go anywhere. The unaware becomes aware. We gain insights.Meditation can help us tap into healing powers within us. Mind over matter so to speak. Doctors are now discovering this. Eastern society has known about this for centuries. Emotions affect the immune system!
Studies in England have shown that doctors have found that meditation , diet and exercise can reverse coronary artery disease. Diet and exercise alone won’t do it. The power of prayer on healing has also been documented. Meditation could also bring you to an awareness of your spiritual essence and to a state of well-being.
Contemplation and meditation are techniques that can reduce stress, bring awareness, joy, and inner peace, and ultimately lead to better health of both mind and body.
Comfort eating is what we may do when we are feeling blue. Maybe sad, depressed, tired, bored, lonely…when we are looking for something that will make us feel better. Comfort eating might have started when we were young babies and children. If we got an ouchy, or were sad…our mom and dad might have bought us an ice cream or some other treat. I know that as parent myself, that is something I did for my daughters. If they had a rough day for some reason, then it was a great reason to go to Baskin Robbins and get a nice hot fudge sundae.
As we get older comfort eating might occur when we have a problem with a relationship, or a tough day at work. It may occur if we feel a low esteem, and that at least this Caramilk bar will love us if no one else will…well at least the sugar rush will make us feel good!
I know that when ever I have been stressed out in life I did comfort eating. If I was sad because my sports team lost I did comfort eating. If I was feeling sorry for myself for some reason (boo hoo) I did comfort eating. I did this for as long as I can remember. And in fact what is worse is that I would sometimes go see a movie (bye bye money) and then eat a large popcorn, large coke and large chocolate (bye bye money and hello pounds…lol)
I want to give you a real life example of comfort eating … that didn’t happen to me this week! I think this will help you, especially those of you registered for the upcoming 21 Day Health Transformation which is coming up really soon!
On Tuesday, I received a phone call with what seemed devastating news to me. My very first reaction was I decided I needed to go to the corner store and buy a chocolate bar. Can you say comfort eating?
And here’s where I owe it to all of you out there, and to this blog: I did not do comfort eating.
So yes I thought about it, my brain said to do it…it wanted an immediate rush of Dr. Feelgood (sugar). But I asked myself “Ok, so what will happen if I do that?”
1) I will be out $1.50 (because although it may be convenient, a convenience store is never cheap) = financial stress
2) I will eat calories I don’t need , and the chocolate bar basically offers absolutely no sustenance to the body = health stress
3) Mentally I will feel like crap afterwards because I let myself down by doing something I did not want to do = mental stress.
So although the comfort food may have given me some comfort for a few minutes, ultimately the comfort food would add to a lot of dis-stress and potentially dis-ease.
I am giving myself a pat on the back right now as I read this because I can say to myself “Good Job Tony”. Often we love to give praise to others, but sometimes we have to stop and acknowledge ourselves for the good deeds we do for ourselves….we need to show ourselves the love too!
For additional information on comfort eating, here is a link you might find interesting.
We would love to hear your stories of comfort eating, and how your life will change by being aware of it and altering your habits.
My full-time occupation is that of a financial advisor, and I am super energized to take this business to the next level. I really enjoy helping people with their money, I enjoy teaching them about it, aiming to protect it and grow it, and I am told I am good at it. I also have tremendous fun doing this blog in my spare time, doing Reiki, helping people decrease their stress, transform their lives, find their passion, increase their health, happiness and energy. I dearly want to help people.
But what I ADORE, what I simply LOVE, that I do just for PASSION’S sake…is coaching youth sports.
What are YOU passionate about?
At times I think about this day and night. I may draw up plays in between clients during the day. At times I have woken up at 2am to create my next practice, because I am so excited about what I am going to teach the kids the next day. No matter how hectic or tough my day might have been…when I get out on the soccer field or the basketball court, and get to work with those awesome kids…everything else melts away…everything is good!
What has the POWER to take you away, to melt your stress?
I am the luckiest man in the world because I get to do something that I am so passionate about. I get to help these kids not only become better athletes, but I get to teach them about life; how to never give up; how it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but it does matter that you give it your best; about how you should believe in yourself, don’t let fear or doubt stop you from going for it. I get to help these kids do things they didn’t think they could do! I get to help prepare these kids for school, for work, for life. And I do it all just to see a smile. A lot of smiles. There is nothing better than knowing I gave it everything I had, and I helped transform some lives.
What inside you makes you SHINE?
No one outside of my immediate family knows this, but when I was really sick, when I had so little energy, I put my life into energy conservation mode. I didn’t talk much, I didn’t smile much, I didn’t move much…because I knew it would deplete my energy. If I had practice that day, I tried to preserve my energy as much as I could on that day…so that when I got on that court I could give 90 minutes of everything I had to those kids and their parents, and then go home and crawl into bed, exhausted, but happy. I did it for them yes. But they helped to give me my life back. They gave me a reason to keep going when I felt too tired. They gave me something to which I truly looked forward to.
What can you do that will give you STRENGTH to draw on when you are feeling down or having a rough day?
One of the major benefits for me, is that the happiness that it adds to my life, flows over to my work. It helps me smile more during the day, it helps me have more energy with my clients, and provide a higher level of customer satisfaction.
What is your passion? What would you do for free for a few hours a week in your spare time? What would keep you up at night because you are just so excited about it?
It is a hard question for some. In January I flew down to see a weekend seminar by Joel Bauer (www.JoelBauer.com), called Passion2Profit. And it was wonderful. I also then attended an 8 day seminar of his called Profit Point, and it was spell binding. It helped me get the courage to finally lauch this part of my passion and help educate people about re-energizing themselves, and bringing themselves back to life!
What would you do for free for even an hour a month that would ignite your passion, that would set your inner self on fire? Pick up that guitar you used to play? Plant an amazing garden? Cook a gourmet meal?
Passion has the power to take away stress or sadness. If you are having a tough day, just thinking about your passion, can take you away for a few moments, clear out the gloom, and reset your mindset to an energized one!
It doesn’t matter what it is for you, what does matter is to try to identify it, and then bring it into your life.
Question: What is your passion? Let us know. Maybe together we can help you fulfill it!
Sometimes I find myself whining to myself or anyone who will listen. I may feel sorry for myself for something I don’t have, or because something didn’t work out the way I thought I wanted it to. Maybe I didn’t get that client I wanted. Maybe the soccer uniforms aren’t ready yet and we have to trade shirts amongst the girls. Maybe we don’t have a huge flat screen TV in our house (we still use the one my wife got for a work present 10+ years ago…and it still works). Maybe they are doing construction on the road on the way to work and I have to use a detour which adds a full 4 – 5 minutes to my drive.
The fact is that though, that although my life is by no means perfect, it is pretty damn good. Honestly, I could not ask for anything more than where I am, who I am, and to have the people to love and who love me. I am the luckiest man alive. I really am.
I was driving with a friend the other day, he seemed to be feeling down, and he was lamenting that his car was not the newest model, he seemed in fact to be apologizing to me. I thought his car was pretty nice…but I guess it wasn’t the top of the line in his mind. I allowed myself to get caught up in his sorrow for a second, and the mood in the car became somewhat somber. I noticed my breathing had shallowed, my face was grimacing a bit, and I immediately began to think of the things I didn’t have. But then a thought struck me and I looked at him and told him that probably some people would die to be able to have the car he had. That it was beyond anything they could ever imagine they could have.
We sat in silence for a few minutes, both deep in thought. And then he suddenly had a huge grin on his face, and he said that I was right. That the fact that he even had a car, and had the money to put gas in it, was amazing. The mood in the car brightened!
One of the things I have learned from my wife over the years is to be thankful. It is also a Reiki tenet…to show appreciation. When I am feeling jealous or angry…my body tenses up, my mood is dour. It is an actual stress on my system. It leads nowhere except to bitterness and wasted thoughts. Life can be so short, why bother wasting it with negative thoughts and emotions filling your mind.
I have found that when I practice being thankful, I immediately relax. My mind clears and my mood brightens!
Before I go to bed each night, I run through everything in the world I am thankful for. If I am having a stressful day at work, or just feeling unloved, I do the same exercise, right while sitting at my desk (I of course seem like I am staring at my stock screen intensely ready to make some brilliant trade, but I am really mentally going through a list of things I am thankful for). Without fail it works, every single time. Always.
I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my career. I am thankful that I get to coach my teams in sports. I am thankful I have a roof over my head, that there is always food on the table. I am thankful for air conditioning on a record-setting hot day like today. I am thankful I can go for long walks with my dog. I am thankful for my car, it has a sunroof (which I love), and it is the first time I have had one. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for the mentors in life I have had. I am thankful I got to see Men Without Hats at Ontario Place with Duane years ago. I am thankful for the challenging times I have had and the challenging people I have met…because it makes the good times that much better. I am thankful for my wife’s stir fry. I am thankful to have been exposed to Reiki. I am thankful I got so sick years ago, because it forced me to learn about health and how to actually live. I am thankful for the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way. I am thankful for the technical support at HostGator.com because it was the best on-line support I have ever had. I am thankful for the wonderful parents and friends from my sports teams. I am thankful to be alive.
I am thankful for so many things.
Question for you: What are you thankful for? Care to share with us? I bet you will inspire someone with your answer.