Tag Archives: change

In the Mouth of Madness – The Work of a Respiratory Therapist

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Respiratory Therapy

Every day that you breathe comfortably is a gift. This, I say with absolute surety, after 14 years as a critical care Respiratory Therapist.  Every hour you live is a chance to learn something; not a fact or a skill, because these are too tangible, too easy to grasp. No, every day is a chance to learn one more thing about human connection and an opportunity to explore the boundaries set for us by our limitations and our fears.

Flash back 10 years ago to the critical care bedside of a tiny infant, connected to my life-supporting equipment. It is my job, on this day, to be in this room, at this moment and to press that button; Yes, THAT button. The button that turns off a machine that made it look like this baby was taking its own breaths. I’m not alone. On this day there is a doctor with me and a nurse nearby outside the door. But it feels like I am alone because no one is making eye contact. No one is saying out loud what I am screaming inside, “Dear God, this is breaking my heart.”  But really, I am glad it is me. This way, I can be so absolutely gentle and kind, yet swift when I remove the tube from her mouth. This way, I get to say goodbye as well before I quietly leave the room.

Nothing could have prepared us for this. There was no didactic course on terminal weaning babies or palliative withdrawal of life support on patients that look and sound exactly like my grandmother. And so, we learn as we go, pushing the boundaries of our fears and sending out ‘feelers’ into our psyche to probe a dark emotion that we were never trained to recognize. We can sustain life beyond expectations but were not taught to embrace death.

As I sat with an elderly gentlemen in an ER at 4am a few years ago, I finally started to unravel this tangle of emotions that reared its head repeatedly.  I withdrew a BiPAP mask and then watched caregivers duck back away behind curtains. Pieces of the puzzle fell into place. We are healers. We fix people. We pride ourselves in this ability, boastful and resounding. Death is to be overcome! We shall not surrender… but if we do…when we do, we lose purpose. We feel weak. We feel shame. The dark and tangled emotions of failure, fear, vulnerability and shame all blended opaque and smeared across our vision. We can no longer see the person we were caring for without reminder that we were not enough.

So I became enough. Slowly at first but with steady purpose, when there was no family, I became the family. When hands reached out in fear of the unknown, I shrugged off my hesitation and held onto those hands. Fear was overcome by the strength of human connection. In these moments, my practice changed forever and so did I. My rusted old personal boundaries flexed and were broken. Relationships blossomed and life just made more sense. Everything became more real. I have never looked back.

The work of a Respiratory Therapist or any other critical care practitioner is incredibly stressful and exhausting. Finishing a set of 12 hours days and nights, its all we can do to not run out the hospital doors laughing maniacally on our way home screaming ” No one died…it was a great night!” But on those nights when one of our patients does pass away, we can learn so much in reflection. What if we stepped right around our fears and walked boastfully up to death saying “It’s ok that you are here. Let me help you take them kindly”.  Knowing we are enough. Knowing we did our best.

CB

No ‘Eggs-cuses’ anymore.

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Free_Range_Chickens

Living it up…chicken style! Which means fresh air, green grass and the strength to stand.

A co-worker of mine brings farm fresh eggs into work on a weekly basis. He sells them for an amazing price at $3.50 a dozen. Last week someone popped their head into the department and whispered loudly, “Have you got any eggs?”. “Why are we whispering?” I retorted. Oddly enough, I have noticed that it is quite common for people to side-step over to me at work and speak out of the corner of their mouths whilst asking if our fridge has any eggs in it presently. I didn’t really acknowledge the odd behaviour until this week.

Is this some sort of clandestine egg exchange? A black-market grocery op? Should I be trying to manipulate who gets the goods and who doesn’t in exchange for preferential treatment if I ever require an MRI or gastroscopy? (I work at a hospital). Maybe I’m just witnessing the people ‘in-the-know’ trying to keep the amazing deal on farm-fresh, free-range, organic, grass-fed eggies on the down-low? I think the chance to get local, healthy food options is rare and thus, maybe SHOULD be treated as an opportunity.

So it got me thinking about food and how my family eats. Then, as in all things, what you think about – you bring about. So I found myself finding and watching a few documentaries on Netflix about what we shove in our mouths daily in North America. I found information about cows steeped in feces with stomachs full of a strain of super E.coli. I found myself watching chickens that could not walk more than 3-4 steps without collapsing because their bones could not support their massive growth from genetic manipulation and forced growth. I found out that a chemical company that developed Agent Orange, now controls over 90% of soybean production in North America by using fear and  patent legislation. I found out that the ideal diet for optimal health and weight loss is one that encourages massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes with meat only twice a week max and rarely ever milk or milk products.

So, I am horrified. More due to the fact that I thought we were already eating healthy and making decent choices. I choose to eat organic and always avoid the ‘dirty dozen’ fruits and veggies. I occasionally buy organic meats as a treat. I am celiac and thus already making invested, learned choices about what goes in my shopping cart. I am mostly horrified by the thought of undoing the damage to my children as they have grown to accept their diet of boxed cereals (Whole Grain!), noodles with fake cheese (Organic with Real Cheese!) and sugar-laden granola bars (High Fiber -Low Fat!). I see now, more than I ever have, that food marketing is a joke, with no entitlement to honesty felt by any major food company.

So, as a consumer, what choice do I have? How can I impact the industry? Where do I go from here other than crawling under my fluffy duvet and crying out “I give up! What the hell are we supposed to eat?” You can bet your juicy July BBQ steak that I am not going back to the person I was before viewing these atrocities against animal and man on film.

So I decided to take control of my own eating habits. I will make slow changes for my family, but for myself, I am going for it.  Here is my plan:

  • First: Hit the market – local if possible – for some Organic fruits and veggies. Feeling as though I would need the fiber, I chose not to juice but to purchase a Nutribullet instead. I started blending up some chlorophyll-filled goodness on Monday. Kale, strawberry, flax, apple, carrot, walnuts, pineapple, cucumber, lemon and almonds have never tasted so good. I blended 3-4 times per day. I ate no meat, only beans and legumes. By Wednesday I had amazing amounts of energy and I no longer craved coffee, bread, sweets or milk. In fact, all of these things that I usually love to indulge in because they give me comfort almost made me nauseous to look at. By Sunday, I had lost 4 lbs.
  • Second: Yoga, yoga, yoga – Perhaps this is the true source of all my healthy thinking and awareness lately. 3 weeks ago I started practicing yoga 3-5 nights per week. I am stronger, more calm and I feel more in control of my body than when I began. Look out crow pose – I got you! The physical benefits are awesome but there is no denying the mindfulness that yoga brings. I remember one instructor asking us to recognize the differences in how our bodies felt, left side vs. right side. Acknowledging, but not judging. Experiencing, but not shaming. Wonderful life lessons.
  • Third: Protect my family – I am lucky enough to have a lot of options here in the suburbs around Vancouver. I can access organic, grass-fed meats online for my carnivorous husband to enjoy, allowing my family to benefit from my knowledge but not forcing them to change. (All in good time). I can drive 5 minutes and visit a family owned farm selling vegetables that grew up from the ground looking very normal and imperfect. My kids don’t like the texture of my revved-up ‘smoothies’ and so I will have to consider starting them off with juicing. This will be a financial investment..but we are always better off paying now for what we put into our bodies instead of paying with our health later (trust me on this one).
  • Fourth: Never forget – The strain on our food system has created where we are today. Chemically treated meat, genetically modified food, and fast-food that is killing us on every corner. How do we walk away from all the convenience? Easily done when we look at how sick people have become. Type 2 diabetes is rampant, cancer is always right next-door, auto-immune diseases are common (so-says the  Celiac) and we are all desperate for more! More energy, more distractions, more everything!!! I propose less. Less toxins, less rush, less waste, less apathy.
  • Lastly: Get growing – Last year I managed to grow some yummy lettuce and carrots in a planter in my backyard. We live in a townhouse, so I will need to be more creative this year.  I hope to conquer vertical gardening this year and start taking control of my food supply, even if only for small additions to each meal. It’s a start that I need my children to see.

So, feel free to observe my journey. Feel free to make one of your own. Maybe you start with a quick decision to pull over at the beat-up sign at the end of the long driveway and buy those farm-fresh eggs. Maybe you go full-out and buy a $500 juicer! To each his own… but always remember that we are all, very much, in this together.

CB

Documentaries that forced my changes:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Hungry for Change

Food, Inc.

 

“Goodbye Miss Universe”

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Small prizes for self-destruction. Source: http://capriciousd.hubpages.com/hub/7-Things-I-Wish-I-Understood-Sooner

Small prizes for self-destruction.
Source: Superstock.com

This past month I have thrown myself back into a previous work environment. I am back to work at a children’s hospital in the critical care programs. I have not worked there for over 4 years and the break has done me well, but I returned to keep up my neonatal and pediatric skills. While re-orientating in the unit with an old friend he mentioned in passing ” …I know that you are a bit of a perfectionist, but since you will only be working casually here, you will have to ask for help occasionally.”.  His next words became fuzzy as I processed that statement. Wow, he was right. I was a perfectionist. When he had worked with me I was endlessly fighting to prove myself every day and be flawless. No mistakes could be made. Good enough was just not in my vocabulary. I have, thank goodness, begun to evolve and grow in many ways this past year. I used to be a devout perfectionist, but now I am doing the work of recovering from this affliction and have great hope for myself in the future!

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen

I can almost hear some of you contesting in the background. Shrugging shoulders and scoffing in disagreement. You are asking yourselves what is so very WRONG with perfectionism. Doesn’t it make you better? Motivate you? Keep you ahead of the pack at work? Some of this may be true, but what will happen if you make a mistake? If you are caught being imperfect, you will get an awful feeling in the pit of your stomach. Dread and fear. You will feel a flush of heat up your neck and into your face. Shame and embarrassment. These are not pleasant feelings. You will then vow to be even more perfect, placing your nose to the proverbial grindstone and working even harder at your perfectionism. Running from shame and judgement, forever and always.

 perfectionism

Such weight of responsibility we feel from our perfect hair to our excellent, trendy choice in shoes! To look and act and live perfect lives is exhausting but you will only recognize this if you can step away. Like a long commute in for work every day of the week, you will only know the relief of the strain of perfectionism once you have stopped the daily habit. What if you could take this weight off your shoulders? What would that feel like? I know you’ve often wondered. When paired with the weight of the iron mask of my own projected self image, my attempts at perfectionism were like chains, anchoring me to a treadmill that never stopped moving. I could not step off, because if I did, I thought myself lazy, and not worthy of any positive thoughts or love. I would be judged, feel shame and there would be fear. The fear of the loss of attention for my huge efforts. I could not risk it. The consequences would be too great.

There must be some escape from this cycle of self-destruction. I can tell you that there is and I hope to show you a way. I view myself as having thrown off all but one or two small lengths of chain with both feet planted on the stationary sides of the treadmill. I hover above it, loathing the endlessly rotating belt. It stares me right in the face and I make no effort to look away. I shout out “I know you are there, and I WILL be rid of you soon.” But there is still much work to be done.

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen: Anthem

A huge step in my personal journey evolved when I discovered mindfulness. Becoming aware of your emotions and not over-identifying with them as defining who you are is very challenging and the concept needs to be adequately explained. Dr. Dan Siegel’s work on the Mindsight project is pivotal  in helping us navigate our identity : self, separate from emotion. Not ‘I am sad’ but ‘I feel sad’. Wading through a minefield of possible highs and lows every day and letting it flow. You, as a person and powerful being, afloat and in control of how much emotion you experience. The concept is life changing.

I have my children to thank for this personal evolution because becoming a new parent is one of the scariest, most vulnerable positions to ever find yourself in. Their entry into my life kick-started some amazing changes. No control, no study guide, no possible chance of perfection. I was wrong on many occasions, I needed to adapt and learn but I had no answers readily at hand. I can now very easily admit to my children that ‘Mommy should have done it differently’ and that I too, was learning.

I have historically been very hard on myself. I was never allowed mistakes and I still marvel to this day at people that can take a correction with no offense. Could I ever be that kind to myself? Could I ever love myself enough to say ‘It’s ok Christy, even with your flaws, you are good.’ ?

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. – Christopher K Germer

Great change and self development is always work, but it is my life’s work and it has become a new passion. I see now that perfectionism,  quite frankly, is boring and a dead end. Seeking a better motivator than temporary nods of approval, I am choosing a life free of chains, full of mistakes and laughter over my imperfection. Seeking a commonality with others on their own journey, I am learning to open up and share my ‘woops’ moments. Laughter and connection are becoming a new driving force. I am not alone anymore.

CB

Note: A good portion of my inspiration for this blog-post came from Brene Brown’s book – The Gifts of Imperfection. Reading her work can be transformational if the timing is right. Watch her first TEDx talk here.

Confessions of a Slasher – life choice or economical necessity?

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I keep hearing this great ‘new’ term: Slash Careers. You’ve heard of them before but probably labelled it offhand as a bizarre life choice for that eccentric fellow you met at your spouse’s Xmas party last year. You remember the lawyer/musician/life coach? Or your odd girlfriend from university, the hairdresser/lab tech? Who are these curious oddities? How can they be living a life with more than one primary occupation? I was confused. Until I became one of them.

I discovered firsthand… there is name for my incessant need to delve into new careers and explore my unique abilities. I belong to the odd. I belong to the undecided. I belong to the unique. Or at least I did, until slash careers started to became almost the norm after our most recent economic decline. The world is moving at a fast pace. So I figure, I’m going to grab on,dig my fingernails in and go for a good ride while I’m here!

My slashing began a few years ago when I started training to teach ballroom dancing. I had already established myself in a career as a Respiratory Therapist for 6 years, so when people asked me what I did for a living, I had always said I was an RT. After I began to teach dancing, I started to find it frustrating answering the dusty old question, “So what do you do?”. Do I answer them from a perspective of pride and accomplishment for my established health care career or do I speak of my passion for dance?

My slashes appear to follow a trend of left brain intellect vs. right brain creativity (Respiratory Therapist/dance teacher). Others follow a solid-income/life-passion pattern (engineer/activist). Some just do what they have to in order to survive (entrepreneur/medical office assistant/yoga instructor).

What a fantastic way to ensure that you have something to ‘fall back’ on if one career suddenly takes a nose-dive. This is the very best kind of insurance policy…one that you use and enjoy! If your teacher/musician/writer gig doesn’t offer enough security, you can always decide to take that amazing skill of rock-climbing and love of tourism off into a new direction with an adventure travel-guide business.

But here is the ultimate question: Are people that have slash careers happier? Is this some new methodology for self-expression? Is this a way for us to live our lives with more choices, feeling as though we can have a balance between what allows us to survive and what keeps us thriving?

For myself, I say: absolutely. All of the above. I keep adding to my slash titles every year or two, simultaneously expanding on my ability to cushion another economic downturn while experiencing great satisfaction in new-found talents.

RT week2

My happy place…critical care. Stressful but awesome.

My happy place. Photo credit: Christine Bacon 2010

My other happy place- on the dance floor. Dance is my biggest passion by far. Photo credit: Christine Bacon 2010

Some people will argue that by spreading your interests too widely, you remove your ability to become great and excel in your ‘field’ . I will argue that your renewed energy and vigour for life will keep you most able to rock out any chosen career. Shaking off the mundane daily grind with variety will give a unique perspective and likely make you better at all of your careers. My personal experience was that my public speaking ability in the critical care medicine world soared after teaching full classes in ballrooms. My confidence in my physical presence and my energy to attack and perfect my presentations were at all-time highs.

So whether you are feeling the urge to ‘Lean-out’ at your go-to workplace and try something new (part-time chef-school anyone?) or you already love doing what brings home the bacon, but cannot help but yearn for a creative outlet (sculpting class?), becoming a slasher may be just perfect for you. It’s not an odd occurrence anymore to interact with a construction worker/english tutor. In fact, it is steadily becoming the norm.

Related articles:

Marcy Alboher’s website – author of One Person/Multiple Careers

Blogpost on BreatheandSmile:  Unleashing Your Many Job Identities Through the Slash! One Person / Multiple Careers

Amy Gutman’s article: – Why Have One Career When You Can Have Three? Or Four? Or More?

CB

Top Ten Ways to Waste Time and Never Create Positive Change

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Tick tock. Are you getting younger? Make your days count! Photo credit: timemanagementninja.com

Tick tock. Are you getting younger? Make your days count!
Photo credit: timemanagementninja.com

Here’s a Top Ten List with a twist. How to recognize everyday actions that are wasting your time or serving against your hopes of achieving your goals.

#1 – Keeping a little too ‘busy’. Have you noticed that when you ask how people are these days, more often than not you will hear ‘Busy’. I too, am guilty of this one. This is really not an acceptable answer. If someone asks how you are and you deflect by telling them the state of your current social and professional calenders, we have a problem. Try looking them in the eyes and giving an honest answer for a change. Try telling them the truth. Maybe you will create a real human connection for a change. Running around town with a crazy schedule,booking your children in class after class teaches your little ones nothing about life except how fast Mom can drive and what words are acceptable curse words. Slow down. Have a picnic. Talk to your children. Play with them and model true engagement and socialization.

#2 – Over-organizing. Put the double-sided tape away Martha. Back away from the laminator. Have you ever explored exactly why you need to perfect things like you do? What awful things will happen if you don’t align those pamphlets…again. I too love every thing in its’ place, but sort it out and get on with it!

#3 – The rules of zero engagement.  Are you guilty of general busyness without any attempts to create connections in the form of meeting new people? How many times have you had your children in classes and by the end of 6 or 8 weeks you still have not even spoken to any of the other parents? Same goes for adult classes. Example: that yoga class where everyone sits in their own little zen bubble and pretends that they are oblivious to each other. Not to harp on Yoga classes, but Namaste means ‘Salutations to you.’ or “Not for me…but for thee.” as a statement of service to others. Get connected. Engage. Start by using a casual statement about the class, weather, class size, whatever! Just put down your cell phone and drop your barriers.

#4 – Keep doing what your doing, even though you hate it. There is a great quote by Albert Einstein that states “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” If you don’t like where you are, who you are or what you are currently doing daily, change it. Change your direction right now. Make the choice and follow through.

#5 – Never write down your goals. Do you even know what you want? Have you established where you want to be in 3 – 5 years? If you do not have a clear intention, it is no wonder you feel lost. Nothing like trying to win a race that has no finish line! Make your short term (daily, weekly, monthly) goals and set your intention and vision for your future. Write down what you will achieve. Make yourself a vision board and clearly display what is important to you. Family. Time. Security. Debt repayment. Travel. This is as individual as you are. Make it yours.

#6 – No vision, big problem. If you do not bother to set a clear vision for what you want or where you want to be in a few years, you cannot begin to reveal the path to get you there. Example: I was struggling with my career choices the other night when my husband reminded me of the creative process. What do I want to create? Where am I now? What steps do I need to take in order to get ‘there’. Big decisions become easier when you set your vision.

#7 – Go it alone. By not engaging the power of two or even many,  you are making the journey harder. Use your spouse, best friend, mother, whomever you connect to the best. I have been sharing exciting things that I have learned in success coaching and using the creative process with my husband lately. It is really helpful for me when he recognizes opportunities to use what I’ve learned when I cannot. We are learning about change, both personal and professional, together and by doing so, are reinforcing new behaviours and habits as we go.

#8 – Keep your old habits. If you have made great effort to learn, grow, understand and change but then do not practise what you have learned, you are wasting your time. New habits need to be created and that takes a change in practice. Daily practice. To begin a new, creative, positive behaviour, you must cease other established behaviours. This takes focus and continued effort.

#9 – Consort with people that do not share your values. You read every night and have no idea what PVR stands for. Your friends recount episodes of the Bachelorette like their lives will be altered if their favorite guy is chosen. Maybe you get along famously despite this? However, some people may not want to watch you grow and become who you really are. They may feel threatened by your goals since your current life is no longer ‘good enough’ meaning that what they are doing is not good enough either. You have a couple of options here. You can either explain what you are trying to achieve and hope they don’t look at you like you grew a third eye or you can change your network of friends. Follow your instincts.

#10 – Fly ‘by the seat of your pants’. If you need to get something done, set aside the time. In writing. Do not assume that you will sneak your work into the day somewhere. If you need to read, set aside time in the morning before everyone else is up. Schedule it in, set your intentions and create the time.

So, if you like where you are (on the couch, being a victim with nothing positive to say about your life), then by all means, keep doing these ten things. If you are ready to achieve your full potential, make the choice and never look back!

CB

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Out on a limb.

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PENTAX Image

The spirit of an entrepreneur. Is it possible that it exists intrinsically everyone? The brutal truth is ‘no’, it is not in all of us, but in some it lies dormant like a sleeping dragon.

Many of us grow up hearing the same phrases, repeatedly echoing from the mouths of elders. “Go to school. Work hard. Get a good job.” That is success. This is the dream. This is as far as they want or expect you to reach. In truth, now that I am a Mother myself, I can empathize! Perhaps they are  just trying to keep us safe. They want us off the street. They want us to be able to feed ourselves, pay our mortgages and put clothes on our back. Our parents want to know that if they were not around, that we will be ok. It is understandable. Many a respectable life is led this way.

There are a rare few mentors though, that have the sense to inspire a little more. Or perhaps, the entrepreneurial spirit is burning stronger in others by nature. The need to work outside of the basic rules and framework established by school, job, school and then (hurray!) career. Energy and inspiration seems to burn aflame in these fantastic folk. They persist and keep reaching every day for what they want, ‘rules’ be damned! They fail. A lot. But they just keep on going! ‘No’ does not resound harshly and deflating to these ambitious types. It just means not yet, keep going.

Of course, the spirit may move us conventional types later on in our lives too. In my case in particular, the shift was unintentional, unexpected and subtle. I keep reading a quote that inspires me. “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where all the fruit is.” It now has a permanent place on my vision board. A vision board is a fantastic tool for those of us in transition. We are just babies when it comes to following dreams. Vision boards are our baby walkers…helping us to form the permanent ability to walk and then run on our own. Dreaming and pursing those dreams becomes a daily habit, not a random act when you get frustrated with your job.

Psychologically speaking, not every human is capable of thinking this way. For some people, their hardwiring is too permanent. They are not only unwilling to change, they cannot comprehend the need or desire to strive for anything other than security. A steady income is a safe harbour. These folks need offices, desks, deadlines, rules, policies, co-workers to complain to and a boss to lead them. They can be harsh and cruel to the entrepreneurs when someone breaks free of the structure. “You will fail!” “Are you crazy?” “Why would you risk all this?” (insert arm-wave gesture sweeping from worn grey carpeting up to buzzing fluorescent lights).

I can tell you now why branching out on a limb is all worth it. Self-discovery. You will learn more about yourself in a month than you can learn in a decade of working at a JOB (just over broke!). Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? What are your fears? How strong is your vision and your belief? Can you make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? The freedom to dream about possibilities will keep you energized beyond any dose of self-inflicted ‘caffeination’ in your old routine.

So let them bray… it’s ok. To walk a separate line takes great courage and the insights you will gain are tremendous.  So climb up that trunk and stare at the branches. Choose one that looks good to you. One that speaks to you. Take a deep breath and start climbing.

CB

A fine balance – Sources of positive energy.

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sunflower field

Energy…it flows through us and around us every day. The world is swirling, turning, and teaming with energy. So, why do we all feel so tired? Why do our days feel overwhelming and exhausting?  Is it because we are exhausting our energy stores without knowledge of  how to fill ourselves back up? Are we not making time for the things that create energy in our lives?

With this post I am hoping to give you some options. Ideas on how you may ignite a new spark of energy flowing into yourself instead of the endless river flowing out that you are likely very familiar with.

Idea #1 –Mindfulness practice. A few years ago, I was struggling with my first child as he made his way slowly and steadily into the ‘terrible two’ stage. I was a mess. He was a mess. I could not manage his random tantrums and they threw me so off-balance that I would end up on the floor beside him in tears. I looked for help. It came in several resources. The one that has made the biggest change in my life (and likely thousands of others) is Dr. Dan Siegel. If you have not yet heard about neuroplasticity…get Googling! Your neural pathways can be altered, your habits changed, your fears alleviated and your stress reduced. Books I suggest for learning about how to become more aware of your mind, brain and relationships around you are: Mindsight, The Whole-Brain Child and Parenting from the inside out. Once you begin the practice of disconnecting your emotions from your core belief of self…you can lose the negative and revel in the possibilities for good.

Idea #2 – Success and leadership coaching . There is nothing like a fantastic coach to boost your self-esteem and your drive to surge forward with energy.  Learn time management skills , how to set goals and actually achieve them, how to craft your vision for the future and how to lead without a title. I personally enjoy the teachings of Robin Sharma and think he is a GREAT place to start since he has so many free video resources on YouTube and his website. Jim Rohn’s book Twelve Pillars is a must-read also.

Idea #3 – Rediscover how to communicate. I’m just going to come out and say it. Television is toxic. Victims watch television. If you are sitting in front of the television between 1-3 or more hours a day and you are complaining about your life….then you are your own worst enemy. PUT DOWN THE REMOTE! Take control of your own life. Go out and join a class. Meet new people. Make things happen simply by engaging in conversation and participating in your own life! The only way to reap the rewards of a positive life with great energy is to do the work. Start reading and stop playing the victim. 

Idea #4 – Play, play, play. This point is especially key if you have children and feel so overwhelmed by a busy schedule. There is time for work and a time for play. Separate the two and find joy in games and play again. Rediscover fun and laughter. Swing on a swing. Race across the sand. Stop being so SERIOUS for even just an hour!! Remember that simple things can bring great happiness and good energy.

Idea #6 – Exercise the demons/You are what you eat. This one is so self-explanatory and we KNOW this by now! Exercise takes your energy to a greater level. It is necessary if you do not have  a job that requires physical labour (most of us!). The more you exercise, the more energy you will have and the more time you can commit to becoming  WHO you want to be and getting WHERE you want to be. Learn what a healthy diet looks like and make small changes every day to get you on the track for success.

Idea #5 – Choose your ‘peeps’ wisely. In my short 35 years on this earth, I am sure of only a few things. One of those things is that you cannot change other people. People can only change themselves. If you have friends or co-workers that routinely suck the energy right out of you by way of negative thoughts and comments, then you must simply choose to limit your exposure to them. Move on and surround yourself with those that do impact you positively. The negative ones WILL protest. They will call down your new choices. They will say nasty things to get you back under their dark cloud with them. Let them bray like mules and keep focused on the light ahead! You will be more beneficial to so many more people if  you find the BEST you.

Go for it!

CB