Friday, November 20, 2009

Wherever She Is, That's Where I'll Go

I had the absolute pleasure of hearing author & speaker Jim Comer speak last week at the New Year Publishing Author's Conference. Jim is an expert on aging & Alzheimer's Disease, especially poignant after taking an 18-year journey caring for his elderly parents. He said his "eureka" moment with his 90-year old mother was when he learned on a particularly difficult day, "wherever she is, that's where I'll go."

Translation: if she spoke baby talk, he would mirror her tone in his responses - illiciting calm in his mom. Or if she talked as if they were on their old street when he was a child, he would reference that location in his answers. I brought that quote home with me, because of its many applications in life. How many times do we choose NOT to go where our partners or families or coworkers "are?"

For instance, when your child receives a bad grade...do you get upset, or do you put your face at his/her level and get to the root of the problem? I've definitely been guilty of the first response. Or imagine at work, a complaining coworker that you normally filter out. Could you continue to filter, or dive into the meaning between the words to help solve the problem? And also flip it - how many times has someone "gone where you were?" Do you remember how you felt afterwards? It was probably good.

With that, I give you five ways to "Go Where They Are."

1) Become an emotional mirror. In your body language, speech, mannerisms...it shows you are listening actively.
2) Just show up. We avoid our most difficult personal & emotional interactions. Investing the time is step one to getting really great at feeling more comfortable.
3) Continue the contact. You've heard that practice makes perfect, right?
4) Watch other habits change as you do. You'll find out new things about yourself as you grow with your relationships.
5) Find calm & peace. The overriding message in Jim's speaking is that the calmness centers any communication. When you are at peace, it's a glow around you that others sense.

So the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, just remind yourself to "go where they are." And give thanks that you are still "here" to be able to experience it.

For more information on elder care, support & reading materials by author Jim Comer, please visit www.WhenRolesReverse.com.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eat Dessert First!

I was at a writers conference in Austin this week, & I had an amazing time meeting some fantastic authors from around the country. At dinner the first night, my publisher did an odd thing. In the middle of our first glasses of wine at the private table, suddenly, three large pieces of cake arrive. Dave, my publisher with New Year Publishing, smiles a mischevious grin & says," I've learned in life that I don't need to wait. I always order dessert first."

Wow, what a moment & a bunch of initially confused faces! After a little coaxing, it was a decadent, fabulous indulgence that we all appreciated. Simple, yet novel.

How does this apply to life & business? EASY! We all have ways to mix things up...so here are the top 5 reasons to "eat dessert first."

1) Don't put off doing what you love. Hey, you want cake? Eat cake. Same rules apply for your business of life goals...STOP putting off what you love. Go get your life.

2) It's life's little things that add up to the big ones. So little indulgences may seem frivolous or "against the status quo" at the time, but they are mixing up behavioral patterns to challenge your brain. That piece of cake not only did wonders for my tastebuds - it also taught me to think outside my own mental backyard of experiences.

3) Don't be afraid to be fearless, at any level. Sound oxymoronic? Nope. Think about it - fears are latent opportunities, and we are typically afraid of the unknown. When you step out of your comfort zone every once in a while, you not only address your fear head on- you also open yourself up to a new creativity level. Fears actually help you find a solution!

4) Other people secretly want to be you (or at least they are salivating while they watch you "eat.") Not every person wanted a piece of that cake - some were on low carb diets, others just politely passed. But those of us who dug right in...you could see the longing in the others faces. Classic "risk reward"- you either play in the game, or you sit on the sidelines & long to be in it.

5)For goodness sake, just have fun. We are on this earth to live each day & experience each moment fully to fulfillment. So if you question why mix up your senses or patterns, i challenge you with...why not?At the end of the day, if it doesnt break a law or cause harm to others, its a-ok in my book.

Now go out there, rockstars, and be Marie Antoinette of the 21st century. "Let them eat cake...FIRST!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Benefits of Yoga!

Hi all! It has been a little while since my last post...I've been a busy bee! My first children's book is almost done - Snow Takes the Checker - part of the "Snow the Racehorse" Series. I'll be attending a conference in Austin with other writers next week - stay tuned for blog-worthy tips & "Snow sightings!"

As race season wound down, I also started working with some new clients (and old ones too!) I'm embarking on a personal journey as well, turning a hobby and love into work. Starting in December, I'll begin my RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) training at Urban Bliss through Charlotte Yoga. After an 8-week intensive training regime and an exam, I'll be certified and coming to a town or podcast near you!

What will I focus on? Yoga for mind, body, spirit - for all ages. I've discovered the amazing health & mental benefits of yoga in the last year, and I've also discovered that it has the power to "bridge the gap" economically, socially and demographically. Yoga is truly universal - for the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the individual from any background. My practice will seek out making lives better, and smiles on faces.

Children don't need chemicals in their body for lack of attention (ADHD) - they need attention and love, not to mention a solution (and drugs are not necessarily a solution). And EVERYONE, of any socioeconomic background, needs positivity these days. So look for me to be taking yoga everywhere - whether that be to schools where kids have never even heard of the safety of a yoga mat (or their own home); or hospitals; or moms in a neighborhood; or race teams who think yoga's "a little spacey!" :)

Again, yoga is universal. In an age where we fight stress, the clock, personal demons, and sometimes ourselves - it's the oasis that brings you back to Chi. Go make a difference in someone else's life today! BE YOUR OWN ROCK STAR!

One application of yoga, in hospitals and for kids with ADHD:
http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=8967845

More about yoga, if you're "into" exploring something new:
www.YogaJournal.com

To pre-order my first book on Amazon (and follow Snow on Twitter/Facebook):
SnowTheRacehorse.com