My father in law is a professor at the University of Ottawa and is nearing the end of his teaching career...my suggestion was that he teach until my baby reaches university but he did not think this was practical...haha.
His birthday happened to fall on a day where he had a night class so we decided to surprise him by bringing our son to watch him teach. Since it was a night class, we had both worked all day and it was a rush home to get there in time. My husband even wondered if perhaps we should go on another day as we were busy, we’d keep the baby up past his bedtime, we didn’t have parking downtown, we hadn’t eaten yet and we were already running late by the time I got home.
But, I was determined that we go so off we went. Baby L was crying in the car the entire way, we encountered traffic and sure enough, it took us 20 mins to find parking and then we had to walk to the class. Needless to say, there were several times where I wondered if this was a good decision….but we persisted on.
We showed up to class (late) and surprised him and boy was he surprised! It was a short visit as we had interrupted his class and then we were off to go back home.
The next day, we got a phone call from Dad and he was so happy that we made the visit. He said it was a moment he would remember for the rest of his life. What an honour it was to be able to do something so meaningful for someone. For us, we showed up to say happy birthday, for him, it meant much more.
You never know the impact you will have with one random or not so random act of kindness. So be kind, do nice things for others and you never know how it can affect someone.
When was your last random act of kindness? Comment below.
We all want to feel that we are important, appreciated and that we matter in some way to this world. While we may want to feel appreciated, what allows us to actually feel it?
Because we all have different life experiences, hurts, cultures and circumstances, our nervous systems are uniquely wired to fit us. What may cause one of us pain may cause another one of us joy.
If we want to feel appreciated, how important would it be to know how we feel appreciation? Or receive appreciation? Super important! Because others might be trying to let us know that they appreciate us but we aren’t receiving the message.
My husband and I have different communication styles for love and appreciation. For him, his nervous system prefers that you tell him in words. I appreciate you, I love you, you matter to me and you are important.
For myself, my nervous system is more attuned to behaviours and actions. I.e. my husband brings dinner home after a long day or work so we don’t have to cook, he let me sleep in by looking after the baby, etc.
Knowing how each of our nervous systems is programmed is helpful because while I may do lots of actions to show my husband that I care, he may not interpret it that way without my also telling him.
Check in with yourself. What do you need to feel loved? Actions, thoughts, behaviours, words? Observe how you communicate to others in different relationships.
Write below what you observed!
Most often, we wait for special occasions to give thanks. Perhaps it’s around a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, however, giving thanks is something to be practiced all year round.
The more you notice that you are grateful for, the more things you will have to be grateful for.
Why should we be grateful? Research studies have shown that gratitude improves your health. People had less depression, lower blood pressure, more energy and greater optimism when they were grateful. Another research team found that positive emotions such as appreciation significantly lowered levels of cortisol...a hormone often related to stress.
For about a year, it was a practice of mine to write down 3 things every morning that I am grateful for. I think it’s time for me to go back to this.
Here are some other ideas on ways to give thanks
Write below what you are grateful for in your life!
Interested in belonging to a community of amazing individuals? Come to our monthly get togethers' 613-761-1600
If you’ve been a long term patient of mine, you will notice that I get excited for you when you are in pain. It’s not because I enjoy watching others in pain or suffering, it’s because I see pain as an opportunity for you to change your life in some way….that is why, pain, is a terrible thing to waste.
What does pain tell us? Pain tells us 3 things: 1. Stop 2. Pay Attention 3. Do something different
Stop could mean something as simple as stopping what you are doing that is causing the pain. For instance, lifting things that are too heavy or lifting with pour posture. Most often, when we think of stopping something, we take it to mean something physical. Since we are not just physical beings, we need to consider stopping something emotional or mental as well. Are you having an argument with someone or holding on to past hurts in your body? Are your thoughts to yourself gentle and kind or do you treat yourself harshly?
This is an opportunity to examine how you got to where you are now. Have you been dropping your standards in one place? Have you stopped exercising, eating well, etc and weakened your body and immune system so that you are more prone to getting hurt?
Have you been upset or frustrated about something lately and have simply let it build instead of addressing it and now it’s affecting your health and your life?
Pay attention to the events, physical, emotional and mental that have been leading up to where you are now. Have you been really busy running around and now that you’ve twisted your ankle, you finally need to stop, rest and take care of yourself.
Assess where you are now and what life is trying to tell you with your pain. Do you have sciatica aka a pain in the butt and there are people in your life that are literally being a pain in the butt to you?
Do Something Different
If you keep doing the same things over and over again, you’ll keep getting the same results that you’ve always gotten. One of the reasons that people get the same pains again is because the same patterns of behaviour are the same.
To get different results, you need to do something different….physically, emotionally and mentally.
Need help figuring out what you’re pain is trying to tell you? Give us a call 613-761-1600
Back in September, we had a couple tornadoes come through Ottawa. They caused damage worse than the big Ice Storm and a large part of Ottawa was left without power for days.
Several of a staff lost power at their homes and our office was closed for a day. However, everyone was ok.
When disaster hits, it’s amazing to see how community comes together. From the workers at Hydro Ottawa who worked non-stop to restore power to the individual communities who opened up their homes, fridges and hearts to those in need. We are lucky to live in such a caring city.
Now, we respond great in times of disaster. How do you bring the same generosity and caring to our day to day lives?
Some questions you can ask yourself are:
We are so grateful to be in this city, country, to be on earth in this great time. Let’s make the world a better place….because it all starts with you.
Last week I was having a hard time with my son. He was cranky, whining and throwing temper tantrums. It was 8am and he had already had 3...one because Mommy wouldn’t follow the garbage truck around the neighbourhood with him.
When we were in the car, he was screaming and crying. I was at my limits and was about to yell back when I saw a car in front of us with 2 dogs with their heads hanging out the window. This reminded me of a video I once heard from Abraham-Hicks.
Q: Why do dogs risk getting bugs in their eyes, sticking their heads out of car windows?
A: Because the contrast of the bugs in the eye is a small price to pay for the exhilaration of that ride….exactly the way you felt when you knew there would be contrast and you said the ride is going to be worth it.
Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI6qtppejWY
In that moment, my anger and frustration turned into laughter. The bugs in my eyes: the temper tantrums, sleepless nights, early mornings, etc are nothing compared to the joy of watching this kid grow, learn, the snuggles and love.
I am grateful for the reminder that I needed in that moment. Also, to remind myself to look beyond the bugs and at the fun ride.
Have you been too focused on the bugs? GIve us a call 613-761-1600
I was reading a book called the ‘4 hour workweek’ by Tim Ferriss and he has a concept called ‘lifestyle design’. In lifestyle design, you are to create your life as you’d like to live it. That got me thinking about the work that we do together. I’m going to name this concept: Nervous System Design.
First, let’s talk about why we want to re-design it in the first place. Our nervous system (brain, neurons, spinal cord, etc) controls the body and communicates amongst all it’s parts. It is made of the DNA from all the generations that came before us. Parts of our nervous system, we’re born it and we cannot change (genetics). We’re going to discuss the parts that we can change.
As we go through life, we accumulate experiences. Some, positive, some negative and some that are seen as traumatic by our nervous system. For example, the time you got into the car accident during a snowstorm 10 years ago….and you still get a little nervous driving in the snow now. Your nervous system remembers it! How about the breakup that broke your heart? Or someone who broke your trust. Does it not come back to you in subsequent relationships.
So, how do you re-design your nervous system?
We upgrade your nervous system so that it no longer reacts to certain triggers the way that it used to.
There are a few ways to do this.
One method, although it takes longer, is a great learning process. It’s to work on building your awareness. You need to be aware of how your body is reacting, each time that it reacts and then examine the reaction to see if that’s something you still want. For example, if a bear was chasing you and you needed to run, you’d like to keep that nervous system response. However, if you had an irrational fear of snakes and your spouse just brought home a pet snake, you may have to re-design your nervous system so you don’t live in stress and fear.
The faster method is what we currently do the office when we work on you. The light touches and adjustments, trigger your brain to release stress and tension in specific areas that you hold in your body. Once released, you can see what you did to put the tension into your body.
The breathing exercises that we do during our workshops will also help you to re-design your nervous system.
Need more help? Give us a call 613-761-1600
There’s a popular belief that you should “fake it until you make it”. This is often seen in the personal growth world. If you don’t feel happy, you are asked to put a smile on your face until you feel happy. If you are in financial trouble, and want to be rich, you are to pretend like you are rich and follow rich/successful people until you become what you want. However, this is not the most authentic route.
Because you are not being true to your authentic self. Let say you wanted to be successful and you started reading books on success, following successful habits, doing the same things that your mentors do…. who are you being when you are doing this? Everyone else but you.
You are being someone other than who you are. Don’t get me wrong, there are lessons that you can learn from reading about others and skills that might work for you. But not everything that someone does, will be right for you and your current situation. Success comes in many paths, you need to find one that is congruent with you.
Instead, why not try being authentically you and speak about your journey until you make it? Want to run a successful business and you just started? Speak about your passion for what you do. Speak about your skills, your personal story and how excited you are to bring your product/service to the world. Talk about the difficulties, the ups and downs. When you are vulnerable and show people who you are, they will show up for you.
Show how you get through struggles, how you push past your fears and how you stand up for yourself and others. That’s what people will gravitate to. It requires more courage and vulnerability and it’s not fake.
Speak about your journey, not just the good parts but the parts that make you grow and you will achieve way more than you believe.
Want support along your journey? 613-761-1600
*Note: Names have been changed to respect the privacy and wishes of the family
Going about our day to day lives, it’s sometimes easy to get so caught up in the routine, tasks, etc that we forget about what matters the most to us….and so, life steps in to give us a swift reminder.
I was playing on the floor with my son when I heard the phone ring. I let it go to voicemail as I am generally not on my phone or computer when we are spending quality time together. After I got the voicemail notification, I got a text message which was strange. Because I got so many notifications, I went to check my phone. The text message say to call asap as something had happened….not a text that anyone wants to receive.
I called my friend and I heard the news. A mutual friend of ours had taken his life. I was in shock. As I sat there, I started to remember the fun moments we had together in our lives. I also felt bad because I hadn’t spoken to this person since the baby was born. I have had intentions of stopping by to see him so Lincoln could meet him however, I never acted on my thoughts.
Death really brings into perspective what’s important in life. I had been worried about the little things; when naps were, what to cook and eat, how to schedule things and had lost sight of what matters most, connection to others.
This reminded me that life is finite and what is here one day (health, success, career, etc) can be gone the next. So, go out and enjoy the outdoors and clean a little less, play with your kids as they grow up so quickly. Call your parents because they care about you so much. Tell people you care about them as you might not get the chance again.
To my friend, thank you for all that you have taught me and all the great times we had together. May you find the peace that you have been searching for.
Just the other day I was asking for a break. I wanted some time for myself, even just for a few hours. I knew I had to schedule something but a couple weeks had past and I still had not made the time. Well, the universe gave me that time.
I was driving home from work and stopped at a red light when suddenly, my car stopped...I tried to start the car again but it wouldn’t start. I waited for a few minutes, in rush hour traffic, with people honking (yes, my hazards were on), tried again, and the car still would not start. Luckily, I have CAA so I gave them a call. CAA was on their way and it would be a 45 min wait. After CAA arrived, I was towed to a garage and suddenly found myself with a couple hours to spare while I waited for someone to come pick me up.
After finding a place to eat, I realised that I was alone. I had asked for time by myself and my wish was granted. I had to laugh as I realised the universe’s trick. To top it off, I had been trying to get together with a friend of mine for some time and it turns out that that was the person that was available to come pick me up!
Later on, a friend asked me why I wasn’t upset that my car broke down. I told them that I had so many things to be grateful for. I wasn’t in an accident, I did not have the baby with me, I had CAA, I realised that I have lots of help in my life and I got a few hours to myself to enjoy a hot meal.
Moral of the story: be careful what you wish for, find the things to be grateful for and laugh at the world
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.