Nearing the end of my pregnancy I noticed a shift in perspective. Whereas I was once avoiding or not wanting to feel the physical pain of it, I am now embracing it. This is because my perspective has shifted in regards to pain.
Now, I’m embracing pain. This is because I know it will get me closer to my goal (meeting my baby). It goes without saying that birth can be a somewhat painful process for most people. So, as one gets closer to the process, a certain amount of surrender to pain needs to occur.
With each cramp, each painful movement, each strain, etc. it brings me closer to my goal. Shifting from fear to change means accepting what’s to come and welcoming growth.
Stage 5 in SRI (book: 12 stages of healing) is about merging beyond the illusion. The illusion is a wall or something created by your mind. You need to go through the illusion to embrace what’s on the other side. The illusion that my mind created was that pain is separate from growth whereas, the reality is that pain is a part of it. This isn’t just in childbirth. It occurs throughout life.
Is there pain when starting a new exercise regimen after not working out for a while? Is there pain in making a commitment to improve your diet when you need to give up a lot of what you’ve been eating before? Is there pain when ending a relationship or job for the opportunities of a new one?
Pain is not separate from life. It is a part of it. When we embrace it, learn through it and grow, we shift from fear to change.
Need a shift in perspective? Come to one of our monthly workshops.
What kind of life do you want to live? A normal life or an extraordinary life? To live a normal life, you need to think, feel and take actions on things that normal people do. However, if you want extraordinary, or to create something new or to do something that’s never been done before, then you need to reject normal.
What is normal these days? In Canada, the average Canadian is in financial debt, the divorce rate is over 50% and cancer and heart disease account for a large portion of health related deaths in Canada. Do we really want what is normal?
Let’s look at the way people currently take care of their health. They don’t exercise and move their bodies enough, eat poorly and don’t take preventative measures for their body. People are tired, overworked, stressed out and getting sick.
Eventually, if these poor habits are drawn out over time, chronic illness occurs. That is the new normal. What can you do to change this ‘normal’ future for yourself and your family?
Do what others do not do. Go and move your body, even if you have to get up earlier. Study nutrition and make the best food choices you can for you and your family. Seek help before you need help. Do the things that others do not do and you will have the life that others do not have.
Are your relationships in trouble? Turn off the tv, get off your phone, spend quality time with those you love. Make your relationship with others more important in your schedule than everything else. Focus on extraordinary relationships and that is what you will end up with.
To get what others do not have, you must do what other do not do. Others around you may try to convince you to be like them, but if you don’t like where that takes you, you need to be aware of that. Get a community of support people who you do want to be like and have them help you to novitiate.
Change can happen in a instant...committed change takes time. This is why we have our monthly workshops. We learn, grow and support each other along the process.
Comment below on what you do that is “not considered” as normal.
That’s it! You’re frustrated with your body. It’s not healing at the rate you want it to. You’ve had a cough or cold for 3 weeks now….andyou're sick and tire of being sick.
This had been my reality for the past couple week and I was fed up. I even started saying to myself “how come my body can’t heal? Why is this happening to me? And then I get upset at my body….after a few minutes, I discovered that this line of thinking wasn’t helping. So this is what I did….
I ask different questions to contradict what my mind was telling me. Instead, I asked “what are recent examples of my body healing?” Then I remembered that I pulled a muscle and it was much better, the bruise on my shin is nearly gone and the scrape on my elbow is healed. How can I say that my body is not healing when clearly, it is?
This allowed me to see that my mind was playing tricks on me. My body is in fact healing! It simply needs more time or more sleep, or help in the form of supplements, herbal remedies etc,
The trick is to find evidence that contradicts what your mind is telling you.
If your mind is telling you, having a bigger house, nicer car, making more money, etc will make you happy. Ask yourself the reasons for why this may not be true. If I had a bigger house...what I be happier? Well, personally, it may mean more grass to cut, a bigger mortgage, more rooms to clean, etc. That would not make me happy at all.
If my mind said that being in any relationship would make me happy. I would ask, how many people are unhappy in relationships. It's got to be a good relationship for me and sometimes, that takes patience and time.
Before you want what someone else has because you think it will bring you happiness, ask yourself if it really will.
Practice this technique of questioning your mind and let me know how it goes.
Each morning, when you walk out the front door and go into the world, remember who you are.
One trick for me is that on my way to the front door, I have a mantra that I say. “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better”. I repeat that a few times as I’m putting on my shoes, gathering up my bags and opening the door.
Sometimes, I may do a variation of it, if there’s something I’m looking to focus on during the day. It always starts with “Every day, in every way….” then I fill in the blank:
This mantra reminds me that things in life aren’t permanent and that I can change and improve them.
When you leave your house knowing, who you are, what you stand for, what your purpose is, it makes decisions that come up in the day easier. For instance, someone asks something from you and if it’s within who you are, you may say yes. If it goes against your moral code, you will probably say no. However, if you aren’t sure who you are, you may end up saying yes to something you don’t want to.
This is especially important to remind your kids when they leave. Tell them as they walk out the door, to remember who they are. If they don’t know, they can easily be swayed by their friends and peer pressured.
When you walk out the door tomorrow, remember who you are.
Too often, we’re trying to “find time” to fit things in. How often have you said to yourself that you have to find time to take care of your health, kids, etc.? Instead of trying to find time, schedule the time into your schedule. What gets scheduled, gets done!
If something such as your health is truly important to you, you will make the time for it. It becomes a must. Schedule your gym times like your do your other appointments (like your chiropractic appointments haha).
Every Monday morning from 8-10am is my “getting stuff done for the office” time. It’s blocked off in my agenda and that is when I write my blogs, work on my files for the office, prep newsletters, etc. If I need more time, there is a block on Tues morning for spillover activities.
Put your important tasks, events, etc into your schedule and then you don’t have to stress about making time for them.
Now...if your schedule is overfull already, that’s a different challenge :) That is a sign of priorities. If you’ve got a to-do list a mile long, you will have to decide first, what are your priorities. From there, look at your task list and ask yourself “which task, if I accomplish today, will allow me to feel like I had a successful day? Then start with that task. Get it out of the way.
Need help with priorities? Come to one of our complimentary monthly workshops!
In what areas of your life do you have standards? Even if you aren’t aware, you have them in all areas: finances, health, relationships, work, etc. Sometimes, we are aware of our standards and other times, not.
How do you know when you have dropped one of your standards? One clue is that you get upset with yourself. You may think “I should have known better, or I knew I shouldn’t have done that”. Let’s say you are at school and you enjoy math. Your standard is to get a B or higher on each test. For one test, you drop your standard, stay up late playing video games and don’t study for the test and end up with a D. What would you probably do next time? Raise your standard back up again. When you drop your standards, notice and be aware of it, learn from it and raise them back up again.
Observe, what areas in your life have the highest standards? Are you always on top of your finances? Do you exercise regularly, eat well and take preventative measure for your health? Is it your kids and family that you invest your time in most? The areas where you have the highest standards are also areas that you deem priorities in your life.
The quality of your life is determined by the stands you set for yourself. What are you willing or not willing to accept or tolerate?
You also teach other people how to treat you by what you allow, don’t stop from happening and what you stand for. What are your standards for how others treat you? Do you speak up when something nice is not said or do you let it go?
What are your own standards for treating yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you make time to take care or are you the last on your list?
Examine the standards in your life and if you don’t like the levels, raise them!
What is neuro-optimization?
Neuro- means having to do with the nervous system
Optimization- make better or more efficient, improve upon
Neuro-optimization is a process by which the body creates a better or more efficient nervous system. Your nervous system is like a computer and the master controller of your body. It sends and receives information to every cell, organ and tissue in your body.
Why would we need to improve upon our nervous system? The body is constantly seeking to adapt to change. When we cut our hand, our body locates the injury and starts to heal. When we get a cold or cough, the body also moves towards healing. So, how is it that sometimes, it seems like it takes our body forever to heal from something? Perhaps we’ve had low back pain for what seems likes years or a chronic illness that simply won’t go away? Long term conditions that seem to never go away mean that the nervous system is prevented from getting the correct signals to the necessary areas in order for healing to occur...there is a disturbance within the force.
What are some factors that decrease the ability of our nervous system to function optimally?
How is neuro-optimization achieved?
Want to find out more? Come to one of our advanced workshops!
It is important to realise that based on each individual’s life experiences, passions, likes and dislikes, family upbringing and culture, we have each developed different priorities in our life. Some priorities we are aware of and some we are not.
For instance, while I may find "having fun" a priority, someone else may find, "getting things done" a priority. In relationships with others, it is important to be aware of each other priorities and what they see as a sacrifice.
Couples often argue about money. One may say, we should spend our money because we need to enjoy it and you only live once! You could get hit by a car the next day or get ill and you can’t wait until retirement to enjoy your money. While the other partner may say, we need to have savings first before we travel. We need money for retirement. If we make sacrifices when we are young, we’ll have more for later. These two opposing views could lead to many arguments at home.
So, how do we resolve different priorities from others?
First, it is to be aware that everyone comes to their thoughts and options based on their culture, upbringing, and life experiences. Therefore, sacrifices need to be based on the individual. What may be easy for you, isn't what’s easy for someone else. It may be easy for you to give up your leisure time to drive your kids to all of their activities. It might not be that easy for someone else.
When you have a disagreement in relationship to someone else, ask them or try to find out what is a priority for them and find a compromise that will work for the both of you.
For me, I place my exercise as a priority. So much so that I wake up at 5am to get to the gym 4-5x/wk for 6am. I understand that not everyone does this. They may have a different routine or work out late at night or work early that does not allow for this. While it’s a small sacrifice for me, it’s hard for others and I am aware of this. So, when I recommend exercise to my patients, I need to figure out their priorities before making recommendations for better follow through.
Next time you’re in an argument with someone else, ask yourself do we simply have different priorities? Or Am I weighing my sacrifices against theirs, which is not fair as they do not have my same life experiences.
When an event happens to us, we tend to label it good or bad. I.e. a relationship ended, a new job, financial trouble, health issue, etc. Based on how we label something, we will experience emotions and take actions accordingly.
Different emotions will lead to correspondingly different actions. Different actions will lead to a different life. The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your thinking and your actions.
If we were to label a relationship breakup bad, then we might take actions to prevent us from getting into the same situation again or might take it out on the next person we meet.
Instead of labelling something good or bad, we can ask: how can I evolve from this? This isn’t a “always think positive” kind of question. We still want to acknowledge if something didn’t go as we planned. I.e. getting sick, laid off, etc. However, we also want to examine what else we can learn and grow from our experience.
I had a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her life before breast cancer was as a lawyer who worked 80 hours a week, rarely saw her family and was always busy doing something. Due to her diagnosis, she ended up slowing down, changing the field of her law practice into something she was passionate about and spending more time with her family and friends that were important to her.
On the other side of her diagnosis, she often said that her breast cancer was a turning point in her life. She evolved and learned from her experience and in the end, evolved through the life challenge. She says she’s never had a better outlook on her life than now and she no longer does things out of obligation but because she wants to. That is a life well lived!
Ask yourself: how can I evolve from this situation?
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Is it more important to be consistent over time or to do things with great intensity? Similar to the old fable of the tortoise and the hare, consistency wins out over the long term.
Let’s take working out for example. If you go consistently 3x/wk for a year you could develop more skills and take your time learning proper exercises versus if you went to the gym 1/month and worked out 5 hours each time you went. The body, as with life, enjoys routine and being consistent.
If you were to transfer consistency to business or work, showing up every day over long periods of time, would get you further than showing up once in awhile and working like crazy. It is often seen in the newer stages of a business that founders will work crazy hours at first until it’s not sustainable anymore and either crash, give up or close their business.
It’s not to say that at times, we won't need bursts of intensity where we may have more activities that need our attention. It’s simply not sustainable over a long period of time.
Sustainability is key! Even in change, when you want to change a habit or routine or another pathway from your nervous system to your body, you can’t simply do things once or twice. You been to be consistent and do things multiple times until they become a part of your physiology and then the habit becomes a sustainable habit. Think learning to ride a bike.
If you find yourself going crazy with your to-do lists and doing a million things at a time, ask yourself, is this sustainable? Then re-think your priorities and think long term.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.