Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Yesterday was a day from "somebody else's life" LOL
At least that's the way I felt because it certainly wasn't a typical day in the life of MOI. Something or someone else decided to inhabit my body and cause me to be something I'm normally NOT; inactive!
But all is back to being right in my world. The hardened lump I found turned out to be a swollen gland caused by an infection elsewhere for which my Doctor prescribed a mild Cortisone cream to apply twice daily for 7-10 days or until the infection is cleared up and the inflammation reduced. . The aches and pains in my knees are from nothing more than Arthritis. Nothing immoral illegal or life threatening. I'll live to see another day LOL
So everything is back to normal around here. What was really nice yesterday was DH pitched in and tidied up the kitchen after dinner. So I wasn't faced with a sink full of dirty dishes this morning! Bless his heart!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Distracting yourself with noise may numb the senses so that you don't have to deal with issues but it doesn't solve or eliminate them.
Our lives are typically filled with noise. There are the noises from the outside world that we cannot control, and there are the noises we allow into our lives. These noises, from seemingly innocuous sources ie. television and radio, can actually help us drowned out uncomfortable situations thoughts and emotions in order to avoid dealing with them. However, using noise as a distraction actually hurts and hinders more than it helps because you are only numbing yourself to what may be internallycharging to the surface for you to acknowledge and heal. Distracting yourself with background noises or any kind of noise; even psychological, can also prevent you from finding closure to issues that only remain to haunt you.
Noise as only a distraction that can affect us in many ways. It can help us stay numb to emotions that you don’t want to feel, allow you to avoid dealing with problems, distract you from having to think, and make it easier for you to forget reality. Drowning out the thoughts and emotions you find uncomfortable or overwhelming can complicate your issues because it allows them to fester. By tuning out noise and relishing silence, you create the space to experience and express what you are hiding. It is only then that self-exploration can begin in earnest and you can stare down frightening issues. In silence, it becomes easier to let your strongest feelings come forth, deal with them, and find new ways of resolving your problems.
When you go within without the veil of noise to shield you from yourself, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to heal. Embracing silence and introspection allows you to work through your thoughts and emotions and transmute them. Free of the need for noise, you can accept your pain, anger, and frustration as they come up and turn them into opportunities to evolve.
What noise are you using to cloak and veil something in your life that you would be better off without
I have two or three issues I could be making noise over and denying that they exist but I`m choosing to face them head on today.
One last night just as I was going to bed I found an abnormality beneath my left breast; hard and sore to the touch. It could be absolutely nothing which it probably is but rather than deny it`s existence I`m going into the doctor`s office for a 2:30 appointment to have it checked out.
One thing I`m not fearing it nor am I not assuming the worst.
With what my body has been doing lately it could just be apart of it; a side effect.
The other thing is this damn leg of mine it won`t stop aching and it`s a deep tissue ache I need a good deep tissue massage. I had x-rays taken last week so I will also inquire after them today. In the meantime I am sitting with my legs up keeping it elevated and well rested until my 2:30 appointment.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
I felt like punching Benjamin Moore in the face. My husband and I had just moved across the country, and after a flurry of big decisions, we were down to the nitty-gritty: what color to paint our new apartment. The previous tenant had gone with blood red, midnight blue, and tan—a look I referred to as "depressed Betsy Ross." Hoping to achieve something more cheerful, we sat on the floor surrounded by dozens of paint samples—Classic Gray or October Sky? Silken Pine or Mystic Beige?—when all I really wanted was to be able to just flip a switch in my brain and let my rational self determine the perfect choice.
It turns out, though, that for most people there is no such thing as a purely rational self. Decision making is intrinsically linked to our emotions, so much so that when a person suffers damage to her orbitofrontal cortex—a part of the brain just behind the eyes that's strongly involved in processing emotions—she can lose her decision-making ability entirely. (We're talking any decision, like which day to schedule a doctor's appointment or whether to use a blue or black pen.) "If it weren't for our emotions," says science writer Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, "reason wouldn't exist at all."
One way our emotions help us decide is by creating a physical response to information we don't even realize we've noticed. When we slam on the brakes at the sight of an unexpected car, for example, it's because our subconscious mind has recognized danger and translated it into a flash of fear; we decide to act without any conscious thought.
But our emotions can also lead us astray, as when they encourage us to give a doomed relationship another try or to keep feeding quarters into a slot machine. Since every choice represents a battle between your rational conscious and emotional subconscious minds, the key to good decision making is learning how to pick which side should win.
The best decision makers let the situation guide them. The more experience you have with a particular type of decision, the safer it is to go with your intuition, since your subconscious has a wealth of reliable information from which to draw. A professional decorator would have a good instinctive sense of which colors work best for a room, for instance, but if you're a novice like me, it's good to think more analytically.
Which is exactly what my husband and I tried to do: After we attempted to gauge our emotional responses to various shades of beige, we began to systematically evaluate how they looked against the door frame. We got nowhere. According to Barry Schwartz, PhD, a psychologist and professor of social theory at Swarthmore College and author of The Paradox of Choice, we were confronting another challenge common to the modern-day decision maker: too many choices.
Anyone who has stood paralyzed in the cereal aisle of the supermarket knows that even if some level of choice is crucial for happiness, too much can feel overwhelming. "We're constantly being told that we can find the best if we try hard enough, and that if we don't, it's our own fault," says Schwartz. "It's a recipe for misery." Too much choice not only makes a decision harder, he continues, but also makes it more likely that we'll regret our selection. To improve our odds of reaching decisions we feel good about, Schwartz suggests figuring out ways to reduce the options to a more manageable number.
In the end, my husband and I chose Soft Chamois—not because it stood out from all the others but because we ran out of time. The painter was scheduled to come the next day. The irony is that, after all our deliberation, it essentially looks white. A gentle, creamy white—but white nonetheless. There was a time when I would have regretted this and tortured myself wondering if Hot Spring Stones would have looked better. But these days I'm trying instead to live Schwartz's number-one rule of decision making: that good enough is often good enough.
7 Steps to Better Decisions
A handy guide to weighing your options.
1. Identify your goal.
As David Welch, PhD, professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and author of Decisions, Decisions: The Art of Effective Decision Making, explains, "People who aren't self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don't really know what they want in the first place." Before you switch jobs, ask yourself: Do I really want a different career? Or do I just want a different boss? Don't make a decision based on the wrong problem.
2. Eliminate choices by setting standards.
If you're trying to buy a digital camera, list the features you'll actually use. Any camera that has them is therefore good enough for you; ignore anything fancier. Speaking of which...
3. Don't worry about finding the "best."
How good you feel about your decisions is usually more important than how good they are objectively.
4. Be aware of biases.
They can lead smart people to make dumb decisions. For example: We hate to lose more than we like to win, which can result in behavior such as holding on to a tanking stock instead of accepting a loss. We remember vivid examples better than facts, which is why plane crashes stick in our heads more than statistics on air safety. And we're susceptible to how information is framed—a "cash discount" is more appealing than "no credit card surcharge." Keeping these biases in mind can help you think clearly.
5. Try not to rush.
People tend to make poorer choices when they're in a bad mood or under a lot of stress. When facing a complex decision, use your conscious brain to gather the information you need, and then take a break. Go for a walk. Spend a half hour meditating. Take a nap. Have a beer. The idea is to give your unconscious mind some time to do its work. The decision you make afterward is more likely to be the right (or at least a perfectly acceptable) one.
6. Don't sweat the small stuff.
When possible, eliminate the need for decisions by establishing rules for yourself. You will go to yoga every weekend. You will not have more than two glasses of wine. You will buy whatever toilet paper is on sale.
7. Do a postgame analysis.
After each decision you make, ask yourself how you felt afterward and what about the experience you can apply in the future.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
5 Ways to Take Back Your Life
It's 11:23 a.m. Since waking up at 5 a.m. this morning, I've had these choices: crappy processed cereal or my fruit and fibre berry blast; Which do you think I chose? Wearing or not wearing the new beautiful spring blouse I picked up at the second hand store the other day. (wear); racing around trying to accomplish as much as possible before DH gets up to start his day, and giving him a kiss goodbye or not racing around ( I raced); putting the animals all outside so that I could work undisturbed or hope they'd settle and leave me alone (out they went) making sure of course that they had food and water.
And those are only the choices I can remember. In our home, work and career lives, most of us are constantly deciding and then living with the resulting consequences, which inevitably leads to yet another round of options. The stress can be relentless. What if we make the incorrect choice? How can we possibly contemplate making big life changes—say, moving homes or having another child—when the tiny ones are already so overwhelming?
"What's beautiful about choice is that it gives meaning to everything we do. It is the only thing that enables us to go from who we are today to who we want to be tomorrow."
And yet, a multitude of options doesn't always result in happiness. While a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Iyengar investigated the connection between optimism and fundamentalism—anticipating that inflexible religious rules would cause followers to experience lower levels of contentment. Instead, she found that atheists struggled most frequently with unhappiness, while members of strict faiths enjoyed higher levels of hope and optimism. "Many of their choices were taken away, and yet they experience a sense of control over their lives."
Inspired by this and subsequent research Iyengar outlined in her book, The Art of Choosing, we asked her for advice on the art of a decision-making diet.
1. Pass the Buck—Now
Jot down a list of all the things that you feel responsible for. What you feel in charge of indicates which outcomes you would like to influence. The list may be two pages long or 15 pages; it doesn't matter. This is a record of all the things in your life that require you to make decisions—sometimes a lot of them.
Now scan can through the list and circle the things you can possibly delegate—considering your preferences, your family and friends, and your income. What would happen if you let somebody else handle this particular item? Do you really care about who cooks breakfast or what is served? The list of responsibilities that you end up with is usually very short and important to you.
Real-life decision slimmer: In Iyengar's neighborhood, birthdays are very big events. Busy with her writing and teaching, she did not have a lot of time—or interest—in picking out the color scheme of paper plates. She handed off her son's birthday planning to Grandma, then assigned his playdate planning to his babysitter and was left with "being responsible for making her son feel loved," which meant choosing to walk to school with him every morning and telling family stories instead of organizing his social life.
2. Think Big When It Comes to Little Stuff
Settle for one large, long-term solution instead of lots of tiny, short-term ones.
Real-life decision slimmer: Drinking a glass of juice should be simple. But is it? Do you want to use a glass or a plastic cup that the kids can't break? Or a wine goblet for a brunch? What if none of them match? What if you can't stop caring if they don't match—even if you know it's not exactly crucial?
Break the whole cycle from the get-go. Instead of buying a different kind of glass for every kind of drink and person, just buy 50 or 100 plain but classic ones that can be used for everything. If one breaks, throw it out, get another from the cupboard and move on. A single overarching solution saves daily angst—and possibly makes an understated design statement.
3. Ask Around, But Don't Ask for Approval
First define what you want, then ask for other people's impressions of what you have selected. If their impression matches your goal, you're set. If not, choose something else.
Real-life decision slimmer: Let's say your goal is to look chic. Put on a pink blouse. Don't ask friends or shop clerks if they like the blouse. It does not matter what they like, and they will say that they like anything to be polite. Instead, ask them what images comes to mind when you wear it. If they say "romantic" or "young," switch shirts. Try a red tank or a blouse with long sleeves until someone says "sophisticated" or—bingo!—"chic."
4. Be Your Own Social Researcher
When in comes to tough, life-changing decisions, compare your life situation with others.
Real-life decision slimmer: It's exhausting to make big decisions—say, whether to go back to full-time work—by how you feel. You feel differently at different times. When you're sitting enjoying a cappuccino in the afternoon, free for the day because you only work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, you love your part-time job. When you want to go to the dentist but can't because you don't have benefits, not so much.
So try looking outside yourself. Find people in a similar situation—in terms of their life, not their personality—and observe them. Does this particular individual, who has a similar profession (graphic design), a similar family (husband, no extended relatives, one child) and a similar lifestyle (athletic, lots of travel) look overwhelmed by working 45 hours a week and keeping up with all her other commitments? Or does she seem a little tired but excited by her work challenges and her ability to rise professionally? Look at the sacrifices she has made and the gains she has earned. The challenge is to be ruthlessly honest: Would you be okay with those same trade-offs?
5. Don't Decide
What if you didn't make up your mind? What if you allowed yourself to keep discussing the two sides of a particular issue, even as you experimented with one option to see if it worked?
Real-life decision slimmer: Iyengar comes from a traditional Sikh family, where brides and grooms meet the day of the wedding. Growing up, she often felt trapped by the lack of choices in her own life. How could her parents have stood to enter into an arranged marriage? And how did their relationship turn into such a long-lasting, deep love? Perhaps, she thought, her parents did not decide about each other until after they had spent a few years together.
Iyengar wasn't ready not to decide when it came to her husband, but when it came going to college, she didn't get picky about her career path. She tried marketing, but when it didn't work out, she ended up majoring in both statistics and psychology. When statistics turned out to be another ill-fitting match, she went on to get a doctorate in social psychology—and became a leader in her field. Taking this approach requires you to be deeply present—to take action before you make a final decision.
What if you did not make up your mind about moving but instead rented an apartment and tried out living in a new neighborhood? If you love the new area, you sell your house and stay there permanently. If you don't, you can head back home. The same goes with selecting a school for your child. Enroll her for a year and see what happens. Then choose to have her—or not have her—remain once you already know whether she's in the right place for her.
If you are doing something—instead of thinking about doing something, or worrying about doing something wrong—you'll find handling uncertainty easier. You can proceed in life without being 100 percent resolved and let experience resolve the debate for you.
As with all these strategies, Iyengar says, "The trick is to be choosy about choosing."
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Worry is an extension of fear and can also set you up for attracting that which you don’t want in your life.
We have all had the experience of worrying about something at some point in our lives. And some of us have the habitual tendency to worry, and all of us know or have known someone who is a chronic worrier. Do you realize that worry is an extension of fear and can be a very draining experience. In order for worry to exist one has to be consistently imagining that there is something bad on the horizon; worrying about something hasn't even happened yet and probably never will! However, this is by definition a fantasy. Understood this way, worry is a self-created state of needless fear. Still, most of us worry.
One of the many reasons we worry is because we feel like we’re not in control. For example, you might worry about your loved ones driving home in bad weather. There is nothing you can do to guarantee their safe passage, but you worry until you find out they have reached their destination unharmed. In this instance, worry is an attempt to feel useful and in control. However, worrying does nothing to ensure a positive outcome and it has an unpleasant effect on your mind, body, and spirit. The good news is that there are ways to transform this kind of worry so that it has a healing effect. Just as worry uses the imagination, so does the antidote to worry. Next time you find that you are worrying, imagine the best result instead of anticipating the worst outcome. Visualize your loved ones’ path bathed in white light and clearly see in your mind’s eye their safe arrival. Imagine angels or guides watching over them as they make their way home. Generate peace and well-being instead of nervousness and unease within.
Another reason we worry is that something that we know is pending but trying to avoid it still nags at us—the results of a doctor's or specialist's appointment, an upcoming exam, an issue with a friend. In these cases, acknowledging that we are worried and taking action is the best solution. If you can confront the situation and own your power to change it, you’ll have no reason to worry.
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