Current Events

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life Takes Constant Maintenance

While having one of these unexpected things come up that need to be dealt with right away during a perfectly mundane and average day, it occurred to me that it is truly not the exception but the truth of life: there will most certainly be things showing up in our lives that we need to take care of that we did not plan or wish to happen. Take for instance your body and its physical health. Once the immortality of the teenage years has passed, the body needs constant maintenance. How do you want to be throughout this?

It is true that routine exams and checkups at various physicians grow in number as our candles on our birthday cake get more. Now, you can fight each and every incident of taking care of your body, maybe even being mad at it and at life that more and more "work" needs to be done. Maybe it is very strenuous and frightening every time, since you have seen and heard commercials about the many drugs that cure the many diseases.

Here I am to share my insight with you and tell you, that there is a choice that can be made that will improve your life quality and happiness if you choose to do so. There are so many, many things you can do for your body. There are checkups and "searches" for diseases, and then there is an even bigger variety of nourishing your body and taking care of it in a most loving and cherishing manner. Imagine how different you feel while doing things that help your body and make it stronger, make it more easy for it to do its many duties.

I don´t say not to go to checkups anymore, what I do recommend is to accept the fact that your body needs maintenance throughout your life. After all, your car does too, and do you argue about that? Now the body is a much more complex entity than a car or even a computer. Isn´t it fair that it needs some basic maintenance? Once you accepted that fact, you can focus on the many pleasant ways to maintain and support your body. I can think of a few: massage, eating healthy and fresh, nutrient rich food, exercise (how about Tango?), steam room, lots of sleep and relaxing time, and much more. Whatever works for you, have fun with it. It is not a luxury, but an absolute necessity.

One nice side effect of treating your body with a focus on supportive and uplifting maintenance is that these commercials about pharmaceutics won´t scare you anymore. After all, you are doing your share.

As always, don´t blindly believe, experience and see for yourself.
And have FUN....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Secret to Having a Green Thumb and a Good Life

When I was starting with gardening, I had the headstrong opinion that I would choose where to plant what and that the plants just had to give in. Little did I know about gardening and being able to enjoy the bounty of nature. Once I got it, I saw how I had been sabotaging myself in my own life in the same way....

Funny, how sometimes my ideas are very specific and I am convinced that everything else has to abide by them. The results are often meager and so-so. But I would ask myself how that was possible. After all, I did everything I could and invested a lot of energy. Let´s take the example of my garden. It has a specific sun exposure, the soil has a certain consistency, and on top of things, I was determined to save water and "wean" the plants from needing too much water. I had specific ideas about which plants to plant where and was heading towards this rigid plan. After investing a lot of time and energy, the results were not thrilling. It took me a few growing circles until I finally got it and believed it. A plant has very simple needs: right sun exposure, soil composition/fertilizer and right watering cycle. Once that is in place, the plant thrives and is at its own very best: lush, healthy, beautiful. It is dis-ease resistant (because it is at ease), wards off pests and has many flowers and fruits or vegetables. All it takes is to be willing to bow to the simple needs of the plant, and the rewards are manyfold.

Now, this does not seem to be all too surprising, but at the same time it is the secret of people who are said to have a "green thumb". Anybody who is interested and willing can have a green thumb, it is nothing complex or secret or too hard to reach.

The same goes with goals in life. Usually, a goal has very simple requirements. Once the single steps are isolated and determined, all it takes is commitment and focus. With this, practically any goal is achievable, given that the goal makes sense (e.g. someone who is 5 ft 4 and weighs 135 lbs is not a good candidate for american football). The commitment to achieving a goal in life guarantees that there is a willingness to accept the various steps that it takes in order to get there. It just does not do it to keep talking about a certain goal and not showing the actions that would make it come true. It is like planting a sun loving plant in the shade and continuously complaining about its poor growth and ill health.

This is such a simple but highly overlooked fact. It amazes me how often I hear someone talk about exactly this contradiction: wanting A while doing B and being very upset about not getting A. Working with what you got is a secret of success. And, by the way, the grass is not greener on the other side. From farther away it just appears to be greener....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Biggest Loser

The "Biggest Loser" TV show is in its 9th season and very popular. It is a show where morbidly obese people get access to personal trainers and health and nutrition education on the Biggest Loser ranch. The viewers of this show get to see with their own eyes how the impossible is possible. People on the show lose up to 200 pounds in 17 weeks. And this time it is not an empty commercial of some diet pill or a questionable ´before´ and ´after´ picture...

I have personally taken to watching this program. It is just incredible to see all my beliefs and knowledge about weight loss and fitness come to live. What also comes to live is the contestants themselves. I just LOVE watching how their eyes start to light up, how they beam with their own accomplishments, how to start believing in themselves, have hopes and dreams and feel as an active and essential part of society, friends and family. No more shame, isolating, heaviness and being weighed down. Weight itself is a mirror of each person´s life. It is not normal for us to burden our body with excess pounds. It is literally limiting with everything we do.

When I was in my late teens, I left my home town in Austria for the first time and spent one year in Atlanta Georgia. I immersed myself into the American culture and sampled lots of fast food restaurants (which is also a money saving factor in this country). Within 6 months I had gained about 25 pounds. I had been struggling with my weight before that all my life already, but was not seriously obese. Well, I was shocked to say the least. In the following 6 months I started to swim and go to Jazzercise classes regularly, I dropped more than the gained 25 pounds and am at my ideal weight ever since. Wow! The turning point for me was that for the first time in my life I did not want to lose weight for my looks but for my health. Back in Austria I had learned that at 21 years old I had high cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

I educated myself in belongings of nutrition and exercise. I became an expert in weight loss and got to pass my knowledge on within my profession as a psychologist, and now as a Life Coach. I know how it feels to be wheezing after taking the stairs, how it feels to be mentally numbed by all the sugar and fat intake, to be unexcited about getting dressed because nothing really ever looks good on me. I believe that nobody should have to experience that. And, if I can do it, anybody else can. I love food above all, love cooking, social eating and have a definite sweet tooth. All of this is wonderful and I still enjoy all of that. I don´t feel like I restrain myself, instead I take responsibility and am loving it.

Weight loss is as simple as calories going in need to be less than calories being used up and then you see weight loss. At the same time weight loss is so complex. Emotions, learned patterns, beliefs, social immersion, availability of food (big lobbies are at play), commercials, and much more are affecting each person. Often I see shame, guilt, even disgust that people have to distance themselves from in order to be able to successfully shed the weight for good.

Yet it is so doable and so rewarding. It truly is like giving yourself your life back. Everybody can do it, and it does not have to be hard (as most of us believe). It takes love, being gentle with yourself and COMMITMENT.

Hey, have you got a moment? Let´s drop some pounds... :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"A Good Garden May Have Some Weeds"

This quote is from Thomas Fuller, M. D. Common wisdom like this finds me anywhere. This quote is from the book "Gentle Reminders. Daily Affirmations for Co-Dependents", by Mitzi Chandler. What does this quote have to do with my Coaching clients...

My clients and myself as well, have full and filled days and lives. Chances are, you have, too. With the plenty of things to do in a day, day in day out, it is impractical to have to have everything is pristine and perfect condition. Often it seems like something has got to give. The feeling of being overwhelmed often chimes in, and the pressure and stress grow. A lot of life gets wasted this way, striving to achieve this unnatural state of perfectionism.

If you look at it, 98 per cent are working and wonderful. Somehow this tendency towards perfectionism makes us focus only on the 2 per cent missing, undone, imperfect. Having to have it at 100 per cent is a very exhausting way to live. It is not even a condition that occurs in nature and life naturally. I would call it manmade.

In the above mentioned book it goes on to say that life is much nicer when we pick and choose what projects will get our best efforts and which ones aren't worth the bother. The advice there is to give it all with gardening, if that is the project of our choice. However, not to despair with the often unloved chore of weeding, to do a decent job at it, pick a few, and call the rest of them wildflowers. Can't you just feel the relief of that approach and the zest of life? The important thing is to truly let it sink in that it does not take to do the things perfectly all the time in order to be worthwhile.

Here is the essence of it to ponder: I am worthwhile just as I am

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Best Time to Plant a Tree or to Change Your Life Around

The Garden Club speaker meetings are always a delightful treasure of true life wisdom. At the last one I heard this Chinese Proverb "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today". As a Life Fulfillment Coach I could not agree more. There will always be the "should haves" and "could haves". They don´t add any quality to life now, rather take away. So do the second best thing and DO and CAN now...

When I was working in the clinical field as a psychologist there was just so much room that was occupied with the past, all the things that never happened and should have, and all the things that did happen and should not have. With the years or watching how this drained reasonably well people and how it kept them from moving on and enjoying the NOW that they had in front of them, I grew increasingly impatient (it took some years, since I am a rather patient person). I wanted to offer a more contemporary, more time efficient way that would not waste any more life and effort.

The resourceful approach of Life Coaching is just that method. I enjoy watching my clients planting that tree now that they wished to have planted 20 years ago. And it feels so good! Their eyes light up, their facial expression come alive. They are full of bliss and joy and pride. These wonderful people become truly alive by being present, showing up for their own lives. I am all for second chances and say, go for it, whenever they show up.

Ask yourself today, what is still inside you that you wished for all these years over and over again? All it takes is a YES from your heart and you can do the first step towards it NOW. Ahhh ..., enjoy how wonderful it feels, how wonderful it feels to treat yourself to that life changing big or little thing that had been in the back of your mind for so long. Turn your regrets of the past into action now. It is never too late!