Has Your Work Increased Over Time?

When you started your job, you probably had a fairly good idea of your job description and what your work would involve. You knew that as you became more competent at the various /tasks you would have more responsibilities added till you were proficient in your role.

You are starting to find this a bit too much for you to manage. You are becoming tired, less enthusiastic about your job, and the stress is starting to get to you. You are asking yourself, “how did I get into this situation”?Have you heard about boiling a frog?

You have become proficient and taken on the additional tasks and projects given to you. You have done well and are proud of yourself. Now the additional jobs and projects are becoming more frequent and many are now expected of you and added to your responsibilities.

Recipe for Boiling a Live Frog

Ingredients

  1. One live frog
  2. One pot large enough to cover the frog with water
  3. Enough water to cover the frog

Fill the pot with water. While waiting for the water to boil, catch your live frog. Once the water is boiling, drop the frog in the water. Boil till done.

Comment:

My frog jumped out of the water; I don’t think your recipe works.

Response:

My goodness, everyone knows you can’t boil the water first. You must put the frog in the pot of room temperature water, then bring the water to a boil.

Why Have I Given You This Information? What Does This Have to do With the Changes to Your Work Responsibilities?

More than once I have ended up in such a situation. One time when I moved on two people were hired to replace me. Has this happened to you? As in the opening description, I took on one more thing, then one more thing, and it continued – after all, how much time can just one more thing take? One little task, no problem.

More tasks are given to you and you are managing them quite well, but you are getting tired. You are no longer sure if this is the job you want. Your family is complaining that you spend too much time working and that you are too tired to do things with them when you get home.

What has happened here? Just like the frog, the heat was slowly turned up, you didn’t even notice until it was too much and you were done – just like the frog.

What can you do about this type of situation?

You might have been in the job for years and you are satisfied. You are working in a field of your choosing. When you first started you were excited to go to work every day. Some of that initial enthusiasm has worn off now as your workload has increased and no longer aligns with your values or the direction of your goals. It is not too late. You can start now to set your boundaries. Of course, it is difficult to backtrack, but it is possible. A carefully thought-out plan is needed, and this plan begins with an open mind, courage, and a clear understanding of your values and goals. What is important to you? What are your priorities? This can be a hefty task and you might want to get a bit of help.

Know your boundaries (ideally from your first day of work, but it is never too late). I suggest you go back to look at your values. Is the job in alignment with your values? As you determine your boundaries are they in alignment with your values and goals?

Guidance at such a time might be valuable. This is where a coach or mentor can come in handy. Give me a shout and let’s figure out what you want to do and how you will go about getting what you want.

drelaine@drelaineleadership.com

Follow Your Heart

I’m sure you have heard this somewhere, at some time. But what does that mean? To me it means living from my heart. That still might not be enough to give you a good understanding. Let me tell you more.

Our mind/brain tends to rule us like a dictator. When we follow the brain, we are ruled by what we have learned and what has been handed down over the years; this influences our understanding, actions, reactions, and decisions. When you think of actions and reactions think about emotions. So often we react to our emotions only to later regret our actions. We don’t need to do that; we can learn to reprogram our brains and respond rather than react. By reprogramming our brain, we can then respond in a way that aligns with our values, in a way that we choose, in a way that will lead us to be the person we want to be. By constantly following your brain there is a good chance that you are doing what you have always done. We know where that will lead – to the same results you have always gotten.

For example: Stress often causes people to react (respond) by habit to challenging situations with anger, resentment, frustration, hurt feeling. We know these behaviours are destructive, to both you and the receiver.      

https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/the-math-of-heartmath/heart-based-living/

The term Heart-based living can mean something as simple as including your hearts’ intuition, your mind, and your values as you make decisions/choices. Your heart has wisdom in its/your feelings you want to learn to discern this wisdom and find the guidance to make that process easier (HeartMath is one source of guidance).

What would it look like to follow your heart? What would others see?

Love, compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness, cooperation – these are a few of the qualities you might see in yourself when you begin to follow your heart, and you can look for these qualities in others.

You do not need to follow any specific religion to follow your heart. Following your heart is an intelligent way of living that can help reduce stress, separation, and greed which are the drivers of our major problems (think world, and then focus on your community, then yourself).

The information in this blog is from https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/the-math-of-heartmath/heart-based-living/

Love Makes the World Go Around

porapak-apichodilok

Is it love or money that makes the world go around? Or might it be something else? I shared my thoughts on money making the world go around, now my thoughts on love making the world go around.

Check out Dion Jackson’s song ‘Love Makes the World Go Around’. I like to believe it is love that makes the world go around, if it isn’t it should be. Yes, we can be hurt by love. I’ve been there a time or two. But I am better for having loved and been hurt than to not have loved.

Love is a great feeling, regardless of what kind of love it might be, whether we are giving love or receiving love. The love of your parents or children, of your partner, or a friend. As I searched to find out what others had to say about love I found eight types of love. 1) Passionate love (Eros), 2) Deep friendship (Philia), 3) Self-love (Philautia), 4) Enduring love (Pragma), 5) Universal love/ selfless love (Agape), 6) Familial love (Storge), 7) Playful love (Ludus), 8) Obsessive love (Mania).  Other than obsessive love, all love is positive.

What if love were the foundation of all relationships? What would that look like? In a romantic relationship, if we always treat the other person with love, and also love ourselves, it seems we would be able to work through just about anything. Though partners might decide they no longer want to be together, for whatever reason, that break can be much better for everyone if done with love. Friends can do the same thing. What about our jobs? If you don’t love your job, would it be a good idea to change jobs? Even if you do love your job, if you are not treated with love you might want to consider leaving.

Could our world leaders really go to war if they considered the love of others? Maybe different solutions could be found if war or embargos were not an option.

As COP26 enters its second week, can you imagine how different it might be if everyone loved our earth and all the people and animals it holds? A very different outcome could be a real possibility if we came at the challenges from a place of love.

All You Need is Love according to the Beatles. And some health experts agree we need love. There are 10 ways in which love improves your health 1) fewer doctor visits, 2) less depression and substance abuse, 3) lower blood pressure, 4) less anxiety, 5) natural pain control, 6) better stress management, 7) fewer colds, 8) faster healing, 9) longer life, 10) a happier life. I don’t think we can get those things from money. *

I am going to continue to love; how about you?

*This information comes from a reputable medical site as shown by the display of this image       

Money Makes the World Go Around: Is That What Makes Your World Go Around?

Money Makes the World Go Around, by Liza Minnelli. I remember hearing this song in the movie Cabaret. I enjoyed this song. I don’t remember if I believed it at the time. I now think that money making the world go around is what many people believe and value. Do you believe that? Is money one of your values?

Photo: porapak-apichodilok

I watched Greta Thunberg today, for a few minutes. Her comments were interesting, and I think her intentions are good. She commented on money taking priority over decreasing our negative practices leading to climate change. That caught my attention. I have often thought the same thing. I didn’t hear any suggestions from her, but we need to find practical ways to help our environment.

A bit later I got thinking ‘we are f—ed’. My husband asked why – my response was, ‘because we – humans – seem to put money ahead of everything’.

How much money do you really need? I need money for food, shelter, clothing, water, electricity, gas, sewer, transportation, health care, and education. I also want enough money to look after my dog. I might be missing something, but if I am maybe it is because I don’t need it.

I don’t need to be able to eat out, I don’t need such a big house. I have more clothing than I need. I could easily cut back on these things. I don’t need a tv, definitely not three. I don’t need to go on expensive vacations. I don’t need fancy clothing. What do you need? What do you want? What is important to you?

I want to have a healthy life. I want to be able to spend time with family and friends. I want to be able to help others. Gardening, making my own clothes, cooking, and baking more are all things I enjoy. I love the smell of my clothes when I bring them in from the clothesline. I want to be able to hang my clothes outside and not have them come in smelling of smoke from the forest and grass fires.

How many of our products are polluting the environment? Remember, it isn’t just the ‘weather and climate’ as in coal and methane gas, that are being affected by our activities. Our earth, the soil to grow food, and water are being polluted. Soil nutrients are being depleted. Yet it seems like every day I see something new on the tv (that I don’t need) being advertised and, it seems to me, many of these items are definitely going to pollute the environment in many ways; from the manufacturing process, to the use, and the disposal of these products.

Growing up, and not having a lot of money, I was taught to turn the lights out when leaving a room, electricity was expensive. We had a water meter so no running toilets, or leaky faucets, no running the water while brushing our teeth, and no long showers (we didn’t even have a shower). We don’t think about how much water and electricity cost, let alone what they are costing our environment. At what temperature do you keep your home? Do you have air conditioning, and at what temperature is it set? I remember hearing ‘don’t leave the door open, I’m not paying to heat the outdoors’. If you are cold, you can always put on an extra sweater, or wrap up in a blanket.

Do we have to go back to all the old ways? Not necessarily. I think we must look at those old ways and determine if some of them aren’t better than what we have now, whether it be for money or for the environment.

Money makes the world go around. Or is it love that makes the world go round? Watch for part 2 – Love Makes the World Go Around.

Emotions – Heart – Stress: Be in Charge of Your Emotions!

Tengyart

Stress and negative emotions have been shown to increase the severity of disease and worsen the prognosis. Positive emotions and the ability to self-regulate emotions, on the other hand, have been shown to prolong health and decrease the risk of premature death (Science of the Heart).

What is stress? A state of emotional unease describes stress. You will likely describe yourself as ‘stressed’ when you are experiencing feelings of frustration, anxiety, irritation, lack of control, and hopelessness.   

Ongoing stress can impair your ability to enjoy your life to the fullest and decrease your energy. Emotions activate physiological changes that include the stress response.

We cannot eliminate our emotions. We all have them, and they can make life enjoyable. Our emotions determine what is important to us, what we care about, and what motivates us. Our emotions connect us to others, allow us to be proud of our accomplishments, to be happy doing things we enjoy, and to demonstrate care and kindness. We don’t want to get rid of our emotions. But we also don’t want our emotions to be in control, especially when they are the cause of stress.

Emotions are closely related to resilience. There’s that word again. The HeartMath definition of Resilience is as follows:

The capacity to prepare for, recover from, and adapt in the face of stress, adversity, trauma, or challenge.

Emotions are involved in physiologic changes associated with energy regulation. I’m sure you have at times experienced extreme tiredness after an argument or dealing with disruptive individuals or groups; that is a result of our emotions triggering the stress response. This seems to indicate that to have the best of health we need to be resilient and be in control of our emotional responses.

We can build our physical resilience by increasing our physical capacity. This can be done by walking farther, walking faster, increasing your weights or repetitions, swimming farther or faster. How can we build our emotional resilience and capacity? We can learn to develop new responses to stressful situations that will help us retain energy and adapt to what is occurring. The ability to adjust and self-regulate is a skill that can be learned and will help you in building relationships, remaining calm and composed in tense situations, and maintaining your integrity. You will also be able to make clearer decisions. It is when you are stressed, frustrated, or angry that errors are made, and poor decisions occur.

It has been shown that our efforts to self-regulate emotions can produce broad improvements in increasing or strengthening self-regulatory capacity, similar to the process of strengthening a muscle, making us less vulnerable to depletion of our internal reserves.

Keeping this information in mind it would seem that the ability to self-regulate our behaviours, attitudes, and emotions could go a long way to improving our health and our life. According to The Science of the Heart, there is a growing body of scientific evidence linking “mental and emotional attitudes, physiological health and long-term well-being.”

I’m all for building my resilience and have been working on it for several years. Despite many challenges along the way I firmly believe that my resilience has improved. I am in much better control of my emotional responses. Am I in control all the time? Of course not, I am human and far from perfect, but the overall effect has been good for me. Building resilience isn’t difficult, but it does require ongoing effort. In minutes a day, you can build your resilience.

I received this video today and am sharing it with you – it suggests a great way to start and end your day, and to use any time in-between and can be done quickly.

Achieve More Inner Stillness


Our Heart: Pump, Emotions, Stress, Energy

Our Heart: Pump, Emotions, Stress, Energy

Just like our brain, we all have a heart. We know our heart acts like a pump to circulate blood throughout our body. We know that we can have heart attacks and other cardiac diseases.

Something many do not know is that the heart and brain communicate and that the heart communicates with the brain more than the brain communicates with the heart.

When you are feeling stressed, your heart is involved along with your brain. Our emotions influence our hearts and brains. The heart is an electrical system. This shouldn’t surprise you because the ECG (electrocardiograph) that traces our heart rhythm is tracing the electrical rhythm of our heart. The functioning of the brain can also be examined using an EEG (electroencephalograph), which measures the electrical functioning of the brain. Muscles are also measured electrically. We are made up of electrical energy.

Enough about the electricity for now. Next, a bit of information about how our heart and brain work together when we are experiencing stress.

What is stress and how do you know if you are experiencing stress? Definition of stress:

In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the ‘fight or flight’ response, a complex reaction of neurological and endocrinologic systems.

Definition of stress:

Stress affects many areas of our body. Remember too, that all areas of the body are connected. We cannot separate our mind and mental health from our body and physical health. Our emotions affect our brain, mind, and mental health which in turn affect our body. Stress can lead to physical illness and physical illness can lead to stress. A bit of a vicious circle.

Researchers have discovered that our emotions are a result of our hearts and brains working together. Neurocardiology (a specialty of how the brain and heart interact) research has determined that the heart is a sensory organ. The heart can learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions that do not involve the cerebral cortex. (2003. McCraty, R. energetic-heart.pdf  Institute of HeartMath.)

Our emotions drain our energy. Think about it, when you have had a disagreement with someone, you will often feel tired and make poor decisions. Afterward, we are apt to say to ourselves (maybe even to others) ‘what was I thinking?

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”
— Hans Selye

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/stress-and-heart-health

The HeartMath™ System (programs, techniques) includes methods of mental and emotional self-regulation and energy management techniques that lead to a restructure of neural (nervous system) circuits. The techniques assist in the alignment of our mental, emotional, and physical systems. All the techniques affect several areas of the brain: amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and thalamus and improve the synchronization of the heart-brain, hormonal balance, the autonomic nervous system, and vagal pathways. Breathing is a vital component of the HeartMath™ systems. But HeartMath™ is much more than breathing. Remember, our heart and head are communicating with each other.

One of the goals of drelaineleadership.coach and HeartMath skills is to guide you to increased internal awareness. Everyone deserves to have a beautiful life that includes self-awareness and limited stress. You can be in control of your emotional responses.

Stress often leads to us adopting poor coping behaviours that can increase our risk of heart disease and stroke. Some poor coping behaviours include smoking, alcohol, drugs, overeating, absence of physical activity, unhealthy diet. Being overweight, and not taking your prescribed medications as per your doctor’s instructions are also symptoms of stress.

Stress can show up in your body as a headache, back strain, painfully tight shoulder muscles, and stomach pain. Other things that stress can do to you include zapping your energy, create sleep problems, and adding to crankiness, forgetfulness, and not being as in control of yourself as you would like. A chain reaction begins:

Stress > release of adrenalin and cortisol > increased heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure

You are prepared to fight or flee even though there is no physical danger, no lions, or tigers, or bears.

There is a large body of information and research about stress and ways to manage our emotions. I will continue to share information about stress, emotions, the heart-brain connection and how to take control of your emotional reactions in future blogs. But just a little bit at a time.

Our Brains: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Feel

Brains – we all have one. They do a lot for us. We also have a heart, and it too does a lot for us. The two of them even communicate. Did you know that the heart sends more messages to the brain than the brain does to the heart?

We can examine both. We tend to think of the brain as the ruler of our decisions. Sometimes we make a decision such as ‘I am going to get healthy by improving my diet and including more activity in my daily routine’. Then after a couple of days or a week, we might slip. Forming new habits is difficult. Why?

During the cave person period, a part of our brain was developed. Our needs were a little different then than they are now. During that time the focus of the brain was to avoid pain, seek pleasure, take the path of least resistance, and live for today. Pain was predominantly associated with life-threatening events or death; a good thing to avoid. Survival took a lot of energy. Being strong and alert were important and needed alertness, energy, and stamina. Energy comes from food – fats, sugars. Not being alert and aware of the present moment could be disastrous – maybe deadly. These responses are still firmly planted in our brains.

This same part of the brain is responsible for thoughts, emotions, memory, learning, and appetite; this area functions automatically; you can’t turn it on or off (you don’t need to tell your brain to make you breathe, and to make your heartbeat). The healthy habits we need today are the opposite of the cave man’s automatic survival habits. No wonder it is hard to successfully implement healthy diets, calorie-burning, and muscle-building activities. We just weren’t born that way. We experience pain when we exercise, we need to avoid cake and ice cream, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and plan for the future – what we do now can influence our health in years to come. All these things are the opposite of what comes naturally to our remaining caveperson brain. We need to change the way the brain functions. And we have the ability to do that.

The part of our brain known as the frontal lobe is responsible for executive functioning; decision making, planning, starting and stopping behaviours or habits, and delaying gratification. Willpower and self-control! Both of these also come from that same area. Like the physical part of our body, the frontal lobe (part of our brain), does run out of energy. Do you notice that your bad habits often take over later in the day or evening? That is because the energy in that part of the brain is drained, and we revert to our cave person habits of eating lots and taking it easy in an attempt to boost our energy.

We can train our brain. As with any training regular work is needed. To overcome our cave person brain is no different and requires learning and ongoing practice. But it is entirely possible.

I am thrilled to know that there is a reason why it is hard to change the habits of eating and often painful (physically and mentally) activities to be and feel healthy. I am also aware that these changes aren’t going to happen instantaneously, it is going to take time and effort. But knowing that the result (delayed gratification) will be a happy healthy me, I am willing to take the necessary steps. I am also aware that at times I might revert to my cave person brain, and the old habits might take over, but that doesn’t mean failure. It means I just need to get back to making healthy decisions, knowing that I will once again feel and be healthy.

I haven’t written anything on feelings and emotions; after all, I did mention feelings in the title. This is where we need to consider the heart. I’ll address more on feelings and emotions in my next blog.

Whew! It Isn’t COVID What I’ve Learned

I’ve had a sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches, and have felt crappy for almost a week now. I canceled two medical appointments because I didn’t want to spread anything. I got tested for COVID – negative. A big sigh of relief.I thought about this and gave myself a bit of a kick for not listening to my intuition. I let my guard down and eased up on COVID precautions: I didn’t wear my mask if everyone had both their jabs. I went out a bit and saw a few people, I thought I was safe.

I haven’t had a cold in two years. Before COVID I was getting chemo. I completed chemo in February 2020, the beginning of COVID. During chemo, I was isolating a lot because my immune system was knocked out. So, the restrictions were merely a continuation for me, a bit more stringent as I hadn’t worn a mask, I just hadn’t gone out.

I concluded, the restrictions for COVID had aided in my not getting my usual frequent colds. I have believed in and practiced good hand hygiene for many years – that is what comes from working for years in an ICU.

I have a couple of autoimmune disorders that make it a bit more difficult to fight off infections and I’m considered a senior citizen (no one cares that I don’t feel like I’m old). Though I remain in remission from my cancer I still choose to be careful to not catch whatever is going around.

As we all wait for the restrictions to be over, so we don’t need to worry about getting sick, I am thinking of backtracking. I intend to go back to wearing my mask when in groups, if I can’t maintain a distance of approximately 2-meters when shopping (though I don’t like shopping and rarely do it). If I am sick, I will stay home, without visitors. I will continue to cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze – remember the phrase – sneeze in your sleeve.

I hope the days of going to work when you have “just a cold” are gone. If an employer expects someone to work when they have a cold and the employee doesn’t dare to go against that, I hope the employer is supplying masks for everyone and supplying hand sanitizer. Remember to wash your hands.

I hope the cleaning practices that have been learned will be continued. Maybe we can have a winter with less flu – oh yes, get a flu shot. The world in which we live is a dirty place. But we do know how to clean, make soap and water a priority.

A Closer Look at Following Your Heart

An Exerpt from HeartMath®

Increasingly, people are taking a closer look at what the age-old term “following your heart “means, and more are practicing heart-based living. The term heart-based living is a simple phrase which suggest that we are including our hearts’ intuitive feeling, along with our minds, when making choices and decisions that shape our life’s direction and happiness. Following your heart is learning to discern the wisdom of your heart feelings and then stepping into it. HeartMath’s research and tools were created to make this process easier.

Heart-based living includes practicing the qualities of the heart, such as love, compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness, cooperation and more of these similar qualities. Being heart-based does not require being religious or belonging to any particular spiritual path. It is an intelligent way of living that would reduce most of the stress, separation and greed which drives the major problems that keep us from getting along with each other.

If you would like to learn more about Heart-Based Living and Following Your Heart, connect with me and we can chat. Book an appointment at a time that works for you at https://calendly.com/fromtheheartwithdr-elaine

Also, watch for additional HeartMathR and leadership information in my blogs.

The Science of HeartMath

HeartMath products, tools and techniques are based on over 25 years of scientific research conducted at the HeartMath Institute on the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and the interactions between the heart and brain. There are over 300 peer-reviewed or independent studies utilizing HeartMath techniques or technologies to achieve beneficial outcomes that have been published.HeartMath products, tools and techniques are based on over 25 years of scientific research conducted at the HeartMath Institute on the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and the interactions between the heart and brain. There are over 300 peer-reviewed or independent studies utilizing HeartMath techniques or technologies to achieve beneficial outcomes that have been published.

https://www.heartmath.com/science/?utm_campaign=hmctcje7&utm_source=mc_7280736&utm_medium=email

The above is a direct link to some HeartMath®. As a I think it is my responsibility to keep you uptodate on what I learn and information I am able to share with you.

Lead Yourself to the Life You Want

Sadie, in our backyard looking across the river. The life I want.

Do you know what you want your life to be like?  Many of us have heard of numerous ways to get what we want: know your values, set your goals, do a vision board, learn assertive language, read self-development books, go to self-improvement classes, or get a coach. Being a HeartMath™ Certified Trainer, Coach/Mentor I am in favour of having a coach or getting a group together for a HeartMath™ Program. I am not ruling out any of the other ideas, in fact, I include many of them in my programs.

The first thing I suggest is to take the big leap, look inside, and figure out what you want. So often we don’t know for sure what we want. In those cases, anything will do. I am a strong proponent of personal values. I believe we need to identify our values and then, live our values. We want to align everything we do with our values.

If you are searching for happiness or love; look inside. Once again, values. No one else can make you happy. To get love, give love. Learning to love yourself can be incredibly hard. I have been working on loving myself for more years than I can remember. I am getting there, most of the time I love myself, but it has been a slow process. I figure that is ok, because sometimes we get pretty upset with those we love. I am a very stubborn person; I will not give up. I believe the world needs love and as I have written many times “All we need is love” – The Beatles. The more you love the more you get love. Love is a choice and so is happiness.

I am happy most of the time. Though I can get pretty low at times, and I have suffered from clinical depression since my late teens. Nonetheless, life is grand, and I am extremely fortunate to have all I do. I have what I want. Now let’s get you what you want.

Think of achieving what you want as a journey. There will be stops along the way to rest and refresh. At other times there will be detours, but they are good times to learn, and you will get back on track. Or you might decide on one of those detours to change your destination. Of course, that is quite ok.

The first step for you is the first step. Identify what you want. If you don’t know what that is contact me, let’s chat, and see if we can work together. I can help you on your journey. I will not tell you what to do, I will not solve your problems, I won’t do the work for you. You will do the work. I will likely ask you oodles of questions and your answers will influence your destination and the road you take to get there. Of course, you could decide to make it a cruise rather than a land trip.

Create a map or diagram of your journey.

  1. What do you want?
  2. What is holding you back? List everything you can think of – limiting beliefs, biases, or your past. Your past does not equal your future.
  3. What can you do to get what you want? – list everything, then choose one thing you can do within the next 24-hours. What can you do to get rid of what is holding you back?
  4. Once you get to where you want to be, figure out how you will sustain that beautiful life.

Those four steps might sound simple, and they are simple, but they are not easy. This could be a long trip. However, make sure you enjoy the journey. I can help you with that too. I have tons of ideas for fun and enjoyment to celebrate your successes, small and big.

As you proceed on your journey you will want to go back to the four steps. Add to them, cross things off as completed or that no longer serve you. The journey is organic, it is alive just as you are. I believe you will find the journey will make you feel more alive.

You might find along that way that you want to change some things; the destination, the route, when to take a rest stop, or a detour. You set the journey.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you have questions, fears, or limitations. That is normal. You are going on a life-changing journey. I can help you with those questions, fears, and limitations. I can be that someone to talk to. I can help you with the map.Book an exploratory call with me, no charge – access my calendar at https://calendly.com/fromtheheartwithdr-elaine

Are Your Decisions Based on Fear?

When that bear is after me, I hope I can run faster than you can. I also hope that my fear has kicked in enough that I can actually run. I used to love running, but as with many of us old folk – the knees are gone.

If some dude or dudette breaks into my house while I am home, I hope I have enough fear to either hide or run. Fear can be good. The adrenalin gets you going, hopefully, to someplace safe. Fear today is different from the fear in the caveman days (I think there were cavewomen too, but we don’t seem to talk about them). We don’t have to run from the lion, tiger, bear, or any of those aggressive animals who look on us as prey. Today our fear comes from the political climate, the pandemic, racial issues and inequality, women’s inequality, the environment, and what we are doing about it – or not doing. Some still fear not being able to feed or house their families – wow – how long has this been going on??

Every day we are apt to experience fear when we drive, when we are walking, when someone we do not know approaches us, or if someone is not wearing a mask. How do you react to these fears? In most cases, you know your heart and respiratory rates increase. The increased heart and respiratory rate can also happen when we talk about politics and pandemics (starting to be hard to separate the two).

We are facing numerous fears with the ongoing pandemic. Mask versus non-mask, vaccine versus anti-vaccer, conspiracy versus non-conspiracy, and there might be other divides of which I am not aware. Why are these divides present – fear.  Fear is often the doing of politicians and the media.

There are numerous other things occurring causing us fear. No income, no school or only home-school, and you can’t work from home, not enough money to feed the family, pay the bills, and keep a roof over your head have become too common.

Our mental health is being stretched like it has not been in the lives of many of us. The Polio scare in the mid-50s, The Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early to mid-’60s when I was still fairly young, definitely scared us. By the time the Missile Crisis came along, I was old enough to read the paper and be frightened along with the adults. I didn’t understand everything, but I knew there was a possibility that we might be gone and I might not be with my mom when it happened. I was scared, really scared.

I am not scared now. I am fortunate and old enough to be able to live on my retirement pension. I will continue to look after my health, wear my mask (heck my immune system has been crap since long before the pandemic), and I have my two jabs. I wasn’t going out before the pandemic hit because I was undergoing chemo – I just haven’t changed what I was doing then.

That only gives us a bit of understanding of the effects of fear. When the pandemic has run its course there will be other fears. What else causes us to be fearful and how does fear influence our decisions?

We have been subjected to fear-causing news reports, health reports, and general pandemic discussions for a bit over 18-months. What an incredible amount of stress we have been put through, and that stress affects our decisions. Why? Because the fear creates stress which then influences our decisions. The decisions we make when stressed are often not the best decisions.

Some of the nastiest leaders in the world gain, and have gained, power because of the fear they instill. Is that what our leaders are doing now, or are they also being fed fear every day? I am not a conspiracy theorist. On the other hand, I do believe if you tell yourself something over and over again you begin to believe. After all, isn’t that what we are being taught to do to become more self-confident, to build self-esteem, and to make the most of ourselves? Darn right it is! And guess what – it works. So let’s use the same strategy to eliminate or reduce our fear now. You can stay in fear, or you can choose to live a beautiful life without ongoing fear.

It is a big ask for anyone who is afraid. Believe me, I have been there in the past. I am not there now and do not intend to be. I am in control of me, and I can help you be in control of you. Change is never easy, but small steps repeated over time accumulate and can make a huge difference. What is amazing is how the practices that can help get you out of a fearful state can be used every day, in a pandemic, or non-pandemic times.

At any time, each of us can benefit from someone who is a sounding board, or from a coach. Now, more than ever, someone to talk to is of the utmost importance. Many are experiencing feelings and fears they have never had to deal with before, and the people in their social support system are experiencing the same concerns. Find someone to talk to individually or as a group. I offer these kinds of services and I am sure there are others also offering individual and group coaching, mentoring, or training. As humans, we need each other. We are not meant to be alone. Seek what and who you need. You were not meant to live in fear.

Learn how to overcome anxiety, decrease your stress, and frustration. Book an appointment to chat at

What is Your Mindset?

Our mindset can lift us up, tear us down, gives us a positive attitude or a negative attitude. Much of our mindset has been instilled in us since childhood. The views of our parents, grandparents, teachers, and other important figures in our life influence us, whether we are aware. Our philosophy of life directs our life experiences. Some people, fatalists, believe that no matter what they do the outcome will be the same. What about you? Do you think you have some control over outcomes? Let’s think about that – if you do not study for exams will the outcome be the same as if you do? Does your diet influence your health? These examples seem obvious. Let’s look at some other ways mindset could possibly influence our life. If you are generally a happy person and find an opportunity or something positive in most situations you have a positive mindset. Those with a positive mindset focus on positive results and good outcomes. For many of us, we prefer to be around people with a positive attitude or mindset. A positive mindset also has health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are attributed to a positive mindset: – Increased life span- Decreased rates of depression- Lower distress levels- Increased resistance to the common cold- Better psychological and physical well-being- Better heart health and decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress. Considering these positive connections, I encourage the development of a positive mindset. Among the ways to build a positive mindset are:- Identify negative thoughts – that’s right – identify the negative, you need to be aware of your thoughts, identify your negative self-talk. – Focus on positive thinking and positive self-talk. Even negative thoughts and self-talk can be turned around to positive thoughts and talk. (Give me a shout, I have some tools for this). Laugh, find the humor in situations (laugh at yourself, not others), surround yourself with positive-thinking people, schedule a couple of times during the day to assess how you have been talking to yourself, and if your thoughts are positive or negative. Remember – what isn’t identified can’t be changed. Can you think of some negative thoughts that can be reframed into positive thoughts? Negative Thoughts Positive Thoughts can’t do that; I’ve never done it before. A great opportunity to try something new. That’s too complicated. I will approach that from a different perspective. I don’t have all I need to do that. I will be creative and workaround or substitute where necessary. I’m never going to get any better than I am now. I will take a chance and try some new things, some self-development courses. That won’t work. That is far out, let’s give it go.No one talks to me, so I never know what is going on. I will make an effort to engage others in conversation and show interest in what is happening. You might also consider watching less news, more comedy, or forget about tv and read positive material. Listen to upbeat or relaxing music. Spend some time outside enjoying nature. If you don’t care for nature, try just a few minutes when the weather is your favourite kind (for me sunny and warm). You can also try meditation. Or try taking a few moments to identify the things in your life for which you are grateful – a roof over your head, food to eat, a job, a family, health, life, your pet. Start a list of these things for the times when you can’t think of anything positive, and you can refer to your list. When you first wake up, or when you are brushing your teeth take a minute to take 3 – 5 deep, slow breaths, and then focus on something positive for another few breaths. It can’t hurt anything, and you might just find yourself feel more positive. I have a variety of strategies for you to try if you would like to feel more positive; direct message me and we can talk.

Resilience, A Dirty Word

When you hear the word resilience, what do you think of?

Lately, I have seen several social media posts stating that people never want to hear this word again. Most recently I saw a posting from a previous work colleague (I’m old, retired). This person is a nurse, a very good nurse, who has been working throughout the pandemic.

I can only imagine the way that the term, resilience, has been used. My guess is that it has been somewhere along the same line as ‘suck it up buttercup’. Not good. To my mind this is bullying. You cannot tell someone to be resilient. At least not if you appreciate your workers, not if you value the work they are doing, not if you want to keep them, and if you want to give them any kind of acknowledgment for a job well done.

My focus is on nurses and other healthcare workers. I do know that there are many other ‘front line’ workers who are in the same situation.

Just the idea that we call these people ‘front line’ tells us a lot. ‘Front line’ is a war term. Are we at war?

If we want anyone to be resilient, we need to know and understand what we are asking and what the term means. The term has many similar definitions. I don’t like a lot of them. Probably because I have learned the HeartMath™ definition. Their definition isn’t different, it is just specific. HeartMath™ defines Resilience as

“…the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, or tragedy.”

Resilience is more than ‘bouncing back’. Resilience is more than putting your own needs aside and pushing through to the detriment of your health. I don’t want to point fingers or accuse anyone of not caring, but I do know in our healthcare systems that the expectation is exactly that – put your own needs aside and care for everyone else. That includes patients, families, and coworkers.

I remind managers, leaders, or whoever is in a ‘ruling’ leadership position if your workers become burned out then ill, they are not going to be able to care for anyone and will leave you short-staffed.

As a retired RN I have years of experience that taught me that if I wasn’t on death’s doorstep I had better be at work. The guilt was laid on “you don’t want to leave your co-workers short-staffed, do you?”

I am hoping that one thing we have learned from the pandemic is – if you are sick – stay home. That should always be the case, pandemic or not. If workers are pushed to work when they are not well, they will only become sicker and must take more time off and quite possibly pass their illness on to their colleagues. Thus, a vicious circle of illness, keep working, increased illness, keep working, share your illness with your coworkers, who then are off sick, those working are overworked, become ill, but must keep working and it just keeps going on.

So, let’s look at what is needed to truly promote and encourage resilience. Warning: If you do not value the well-being of your workers, use your discretion, you might not want to read this information. It is not suitable for non-caring employers, managers, or leaders.

The day-to-day stressful events that healthcare workers and other ‘frontline’ workers are faced with affect their resilience. You cannot tell workers in such a situation to ‘bounce back’, ‘you need to be more resilient’. The worker needs to be in control of their health, their energy – which is depleted with stress – and affects their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Unreasonable expectations, lack of resources to provide the needed steps and support to deal with the stressors will only lead to extensive problems, unhealthy, and unhappy workers. Maybe employers don’t care whether employees/workers are happy or not, but if they don’t care it is going to come back and bite them on the ass. (Yes, I am aware of what I am writing here). This is no time to be taking a non-committal, ‘beating around the bush’ approach.

Our healthcare and other ‘front-line’ workers deserve better. I encourage employers to take the steps to support, help, and guide all employees in developing ways to prevent, cope with, and overcome the stressful events, overwork, and fatigue that are overwhelming them and be able to live another day.

Emotions drain energy. Emotions (think of what they are – happy, sad; encouraged, discouraged; energized, drained; enthusiastic, indifferent; and the list can go on – I hope you are getting the idea) have the capacity to drain or recharge our energy. Which would you prefer for your employees? I hope you want to see their energy recharged.

As a Certified HeartMath™ Coach/Mentor, Trainer and retired RN I am passionate about seeing my colleagues treated well, coping well, and being supported, and provided with all the tools they need to do their jobs and to remain healthy. Those tools include the necessary PPE, support, enough sleep time, breaks, nutrition, and techniques that are easy to learn and implement to help them cope with the stresses of these extreme times.

Hierarchy – CEOs, managers, supervisors, and all leaders also need these things, even if they think they do not – you are not superwoman or superman. I know you are also experiencing incredible stress. One way for you to lessen your stress, decrease your burnout and illness is to learn and share techniques and strategies to cope with these unusual times. Yes, you learn and share.

Allow enough time for you and your employees to get adequate sleep – that is the first and very important step. Next, find the necessary tools for you and your employees to recharge your energy – nutrition, fresh air, and appropriate activity (being on your feet for 12-hours doesn’t count), ways to relax, ways to renew and recharge the inner battery.

In the long run, these things will not cost you, they will likely save you money. During these times of increased work and stress, long programs are not the answer. What are some quick, easy to learn, and remember techniques that can be used on the go? They exist. I can help with this – and your nurses, doctors, pharmacists, unit clerks, nursing attendants, lab technicians, respiratory technicians, housekeepers, EMTs, grocery store clerks, and truckers or any of those in the positions that must continue to work during these times deserve to have these tools.

Additionally, for those not on the ‘frontlines’ who no longer have a job to go to, they deserve these things as well. Are their former employers willing to learn and share coping mechanisms? Why not? There are ways.

Parents working from home and doing homeschooling are also under enormous stress. And how many people are suffering from the isolation that has been imposed? Everyone deserves to know ways to help them cope with our changing times. Resilience strategies can be learned.

Give me a shout and let me know what you need. I can work with you, regardless of your financial situation. No one should be deprived of opportunities for good health because of a lack of funds. With a personal message to me, we can chat to determine what you need and what we can do together.

I wish everyone struggling at this time all the best to cope and come through to the other side with minimal trauma. I am here for you if you want some guidance and help.

Everything Works Out in the end: If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the End.

What if you made this your intention? Merriam Webster online Dictionary states these definitions for intention:

1a: what one intends to do or bring about

 b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered

2: a determination to act in a certain wayRESOLVE

 I like it. I first heard this when I watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. A wonderful movie that touches many emotions. Overall, I found it quite uplifting.

“Everything works out in the end; if it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end” (Tracy McMillan; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) -– what do you think of that quote?

I’ve decided to make that my intention.

I have a good life. My mom raised me & my brother on her own. I only realized we had been poor after I became older & no longer lived at home. I married young, barely 17, a high school drop out & pregnant. Our second child arrived 20 months after the first. I think my husband & I might have been poor too. It just wasn’t something I dwelled on. We had food & shelter & were happy. What more could I want? But – it wasn’t the end.

As time went on my husband & I divorced. I returned to school (many times), initially becoming an RN, which I loved & it was my career. I remarried. Over time we (my second husband & I) made enough money that I could no longer call myself poor. It still wasn’t the end.

Life is not perfect – nothing is. I have had some health problems the last few years – autoimmune disorders & a couple of cancers. I continue to enjoy life. I am taking a couple of courses in HeartMath to expand my knowledge with them & I hope they will positively add to my coaching skills. Still not the end.

There are times when my depression gives me a jolt. Fortunately, I have always come through without too much disruption to my life & never having to miss work. Despite the depression & the more recent health issues I maintain – I have a good life. I am a senior, still learning, I have many plans & am still finding new adventures & fun. I haven’t accomplished all I want by any means & still have plans that will take many years to fulfill. Will I achieve everything I am setting out to do? Who knows & does it really matter?

Everything has not worked out yet. I have things that I continue to seek, many of them spiritual, some passions that I am striving to attain & some fun yet to be had – so obviously it is not the end.

With any luck I have another 30 years to go. I might tire out before then & if I do – it has been good. In the meantime, I will enjoy life, knowing that, though some things have worked out, there are still things that haven’t. I will continue to work on those – when they have worked out – well we will see. I know my spirit will live on, so it still isn’t the end.

What are your plans for the future? Will everything work out for you? And if it does, will you be content that you might have reached the end? Even when things have worked out does that mean everything has worked out – I think there is always more.

Enjoy the now, there are no guarantees for the future. I choose to think positively, everything will work out. I hope you will think so too.

Give me a shout if you need some help ‘working things out’.

Breath work: A variety of Breathing Exercises.

Why is breath work important?

Breath work can help us relax, lower our blood pressure, & help boost the immune system by lowering our stress.

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Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.

Check out what Deepak Chopra has to say about the practice of Breath Work.

Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School also has information about the importance of breath work – check it out too.

Warning!!! If you feel lightheaded at any time stop & breathe normally. Though these breathing exercises are generally safe, if you have any health problems check with your physician before giving any of these breathing techniques a try.

Abdominal/Belly/Diaphragmatic Breathing

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Place one hand on your chest & the other hand on your belly, just below your rib cage.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose & feel the air move down & your abdomen rises.
  4.  Breathe out through your mouth. Let your belly relax.

 Don’t force the breath in or out. Breathe in & out smoothly. Start with doing this 3 times. Eventually, you can work up to 5 – 10 minutes.

You can do this several times a day for short periods.

Box Breathinga powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique to return breathing to its normal rhythm. May help to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  3. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
  4. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.

Sistali – Cooling Breath – builds breath awareness, is said to calm hunger & thirst. As well as cooling the body, it adds moisture to the system.

  1. Sit in a comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes, practice diaphragmatic breathing for several minutes.
  3. Open you mouth & for an “O” with your lips.
  4. Stick out your tongue & curl it into a “U” shape.
  5. Inhale deeply across the tongue, into the mouth as if drinking through a straw.
  6. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath as your abdomen & lower ribs expand.
  7. Draw your tongue back in & close your mouth, exhaling completely through the nostrils.

Continue sistali for 2 – 3 minutes. Then return to diaphragmatic breathing for several minutes & repeat cooling breath for another 2 – 3 minutes. You can gradually work up to 10 minutes.

Bellows Breathingboosts your energy, eliminates morning doldrums, strengthens your immune system. This is not a relaxation practice – it will invigorate you. Don’t do at bedtime as it could cause insomnia.

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Take a few deep, diaphragmatic breaths through your nostrils.
  3. When ready to begin, exhale by contracting the abdominal muscles quickly & forcefully.
  4. Immediately follow the exhale with a quick diaphragmatic inhale of equal force, letting the abdominal muscles relax.

There is a challenge to this breathing technique. You want to coordinate the action of the diaphragm & abdominal muscles, so the air is moving quickly in & out of the lungs. As the abdominal muscles relax at the end of exhalation, the diaphragm contracts to begin inhalation. After your peak inhalation the abdominal muscles immediately contract.

This exercise takes practice. I find it to be a good abdominal workout. You will have noise as you breathe in & out through your nostrils. Goal: make inhale & exhale equal.

Heart Focus Breathing – a useful technique that can be used before, during, or after stressful situation. Heart-focused breathing is about directing your attention to the heart area & breathing a bit more deeply than normal. You can practice this anywhere. At the beginning you might want to start by:

  1. Sitting comfortably.
  2. Direct your attention to the heart area & breathe a little more deeply than normal.
  3. As you breathe in imagine you are doing so through your heart.
  4. As you breathe out, imagine you do so through your heart.

(In the beginning, placing your hand over your heart as you breathe can help you direct your focus to your heart.)

Breathe in about 5-6 seconds & breathe out 5-6 seconds, or at a rate that is comfortable for you.

Testimonial

” I have been doing lessons with Elaine for many months now. Our lessons use basics from a program called Heart Math. The two combined has helped me immensely. I am able to get through stressful situations with a better outcome. Such as less emotional pain and damage unto myself. It can be easy to forget to listen to our bodies needs (both physical and psychological), but when you practice and apply techniques from Heart Math you become more prepared. It is like an artist with all the paints and paintbrushes they want as to before the artist would just stare at the canvas and had no art supplies, limiting themselves very much on what is in front of them. Now when I am faced with a real life situation I have all the tools. It can vary from “reframing” my thoughts, “breathing methods”, change of focus and many more.

I am not saying that my stress levels have magically disappeared, but I am saying I am much stronger and able to cope with my stressors. Which in the end makes a huge difference.

Therefore I highly recommend these sessions with Elaine. She is a great individual, willing to help and listen.”

Fear, Freedom, & Control

Would You Rather Be Loved or Feared?

Considering what the whole world is going through now & how afraid many people are, I thought this was a good time to share & discuss the topic of fear.

I don’t imagine this is the first time you have heard that people can be controlled with fear. Think back to world history & your own life. I’m sure you were threatened with punishment when you were a child. World history is full of wars & conquering leaders.

Many people are living in fear now, due to COVID-19. Let’s examine that fear. We were initially afraid because we didn’t know much about the disease. Then as we learned more, our fear was not abated, there was no good news. Think about this, we are still afraid & the government is continuing to spread fear, whether or not it is warranted. Besides the fear of getting ill with COVID, we are afraid because of financial changes personal & nationally. Many people have lost their jobs, businesses have shut down. We have not seen loved ones, family, or friends in a very long time. Can you imagine our seniors in long-term care homes being on their own – how afraid they must have been, & still are? I’m not sure locking down our long-term care centers was the best thing.

How does fear control us? If a wild animal, i.e. bear is approaching you, your reaction is fear – that makes sense & you will do whatever you can to save your life. If you see a car coming straight at you, going the wrong way on a one-way highway – fear is appropriate.

In many countries, the citizens fear for their lives as corrupt governments take over, & killing or imprisonment is, unfortunately, the norm. Would you rather pay large amounts of money & remain safe, or face prison or death? The large sums of money will leave you with not enough to support your family, to provide food, shelter, medical care, let alone education. Governments often promote fear as a way to control their citizens.

Think of the various religions in the world? Again, fear is spread. If you do not get the blessing of a specific religion & follow their practices you won’t go to heaven, you won’t be with your loved ones after death: your illnesses are a punishment for your “bad” behaviour. If we do not behave in school we are threatened with extra work, detention, or expulsion. On the job, ‘toe the company line’ or lose your job. All of these are examples of control by fear.

Do you fear cancer, heart attack, nuclear war, biological war, or poverty, these are not irrational fears; what can you do to eliminate or decrease your fear?

All information suggests that fear can be used to manipulate. Fear strips us of using our mind’s power to reason & act.

What can we do? Knowledge!! Knowledge is the cure to fear. I don’t suggest we live in fear of everything but, I do suggest you ask questions, be skeptical of the information you hear & read. Check out more than one source; CBC & CTV, CNN & Fox, BBC, & Al Jazeera to get the various slants on world events. Review scientific & other scholarly journals.

For a government or radical group to take over numerous small changes are repeatedly made. Once we are comfortable with one small change, then another is introduced. Be alert to what is happening in your world.

The link below is to a short video lecture that I found extremely interesting. Enjoy.

Learning to be who I am today

Are you the same person you were last year? 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

I was watching tv today, an old NCIS. A military man had returned from action due to war injuries. He was not adapting well. At the end of the show, he said “I guess I need to learn to be who I am today”.

That really struck me as something I need to do. Ten years ago I was feeling healthy, I was working full-time as an assistant professor of nursing, & I was pursuing a doctorate. This is similar to how I had been for most of my adult life – busy. I enjoyed it. Eight years ago I was starting to feel tired. The fatigue continues & if anything has probably gotten a bit worse. The fatigue is the result of a couple of autoimmune disorders that I have. I retired in December 2014, six months before my 65th birthday. I had planned on working till at least 70, but my health wasn’t going to let me do that.

I have been struggling ever since 2015 to come to terms with not being able to do what I want. I feel my quality of life has deteriorated. I am exhausted a lot of the time. I’m good for about 2-hours of activity per day. I have lots of things to keep me busy – reading, blogging, life coaching/mentoring, promoting the idea of Complexity Leadership, knitting, a bit of gardening, taking courses, joining online groups – but it just isn’t quite hitting the right spot with me. I still feel something is missing. I know that if I want something different, I need to do something different.

I’ve had my first COVID-19 vaccine. It is 14-months since my last chemo & I remain in remission. Spring is here & the weather is getting nice. I’m looking forward to a bit of gardening & getting together with friends. If we need to continue to distance ourselves we have a huge backyard & can easily visit & maintain a 2-meter distance. I’ve been exploring my spirituality for several years now & I enjoy the meditation & what I am learning. I’ve met many new people over social media & have great connections & supports. My family is amazing, as well as my friends.

But, now it is time for me to follow some of my own coaching/mentoring advice & dig a bit deeper into who I am now & what I really want. I am not the same person I was 10, 5, or even 1-year ago. I will revisit my values & goals. I will allow myself to dream a bit.

Maybe my expectations for myself a bit too much for me at this time. Once upon a time, I was extremely organized; that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore & I am easily distracted.

I guess this is what I will write about for the next while – if I am able to do something with it wouldn’t that be grand. I have a positive attitude & know I can do lots of things that will give me some self-satisfaction.

The challenge is on.

Changes – Something to Think about: What do we Need to change?

That sounds like a odd question for a life coach/mentor to be asking.

I consider myself a lifelong learner. At 70 I am still learning & working on self-development. I’ve had coaches, psychologists, been part of improvement groups, & have returned to school more times than my husband likes to think about. What am I searching for?

What I am searching for could be a long story & at times I’m not sure what that might be. I am putting myself out there to help others to decrease stress, have better sleep, dig inside to uncover their values, goals, beliefs, their desires & guide them to getting what they want. I pretty much have what I want. I have a great life. I’m not financially rich, but I am comfortable. My health could be better & I would like to have 3-5 regular clients.

Do I need to change? A few things maybe – less chocolate & wine, more activity. But, that isn’t going to change who I am. After an argument with my dear husband her wrote this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0Bupv1MLA0

As a coach/mentor I advertise how I can help you change. But, I’m really not sure you need to change. In fact I will state it outright – you don’t need to change. All you might want to do is discover what you already have.

You have everything you need, all the answers you need. Of course there are things you can still learn, learning is ongoing. As you learn you might decide to change some things about yourself; that is your choice. Do you need to change? Again, that is your decision, I like the idea of self-development. I like the idea & I think it is good for me. But, only you know what you need & want.

I would be thrilled to help you dig deep within to find out more about yourself. I would be happy to share tools you can use to decrease your stress, to get a better sleep, to kick-ass on that job interview or exam. But, you are everything you need to be. But, don’t go changin’ to try to please me. You are the one who matters.

#coachmentor #leadershipdevelopment #health #mentalhealth #selfcare #change #selfdevelopment

Goals, Resolutions???

I’ve never been big on making New Year’s Resolutions. I have goals & they are written. I like to make sure that I am in control of achieving my goals. What would be the point if there was no hope of achieving. As much as I would like to get rid of COVID-19, it is not in my control. Who knows what 2021 might bring? After what happened in 2020 I don’t think we would be surprised by much.

A few days ago my husband & I sat down to go over our goals for the future. We did it together. We figured that way we would have an idea where the other one was coming from & where we want to go. Doing so let’s us also support each other.

For the last few years, my goals were not as usual. I suspected I had only limited control over my one very important goal – to improve my health by beating cancer. In a few days, it will be one year since my chemo finished & I am still in remission. I achieved my goal.

Now it is 2021, I can have goals other than just one. However, my health is still my major goal. Rather than a goal to lose weight, I have decided that improved health is better. I know I can control those things, mostly. Other goals include; clean & tidy house, yard & small vegetable, herb garden; acquiring clients for my coaching/mentoring business, & increasing my understanding of & growing my spirituality. I think these three goals are quite enough, as they are quite complex & I need a good handle on them before I take on more.

Whether we choose to make New Year’s Resolutions, or establish goals on a regular basis & when appropriate, what we usually want is to be successful in sticking to our resolutions or achieving our goals.

Saying all that gets me to what I really want to say – whether resolutions or goals – you get to choose what you want to accomplish. I do believe we are what we think about. That is not to say you get sick, or your relationship fails because that is what you were specifically thinking or wanting. However, were you thinking ‘I am strong, healthy, & have abundant energy’, or ‘my partner & I have a magnificent relationship, constantly growing’? So it isn’t just that you weren’t thinking negative, you might not have been thinking positive thoughts. Decide what you want, think about it in positive terms, don’t worry about the outcome, & do the work that needs to be done to get what you want.

You are the captain of you. You decide what you want & you can focus your attention specifically. Make sure you have the control to make your goals a reality. That means you are not relying on someone else to make your dream (goal) come true.

Make sure your goals & resolutions are achievable by you; that they do not rely on someone or something over which you have no control. You want to succeed. If you don’t succeed in some way, reflect on what you did or didn’t do, re-strategize & try something different until you get it right. Also, celebrate what you did achieve. And remember, sometimes it takes more than one attempt.

If you need some help to sort through all this, or someone to hold you accountable give me a shout. I’m happy to chat with you, see if & how we can work together to help you make your dreams come true.

You can contact me via email at fromtheheartwithdr.elaine@gmail.com

Would You Like to Decrease Your Stress?

What a silly question. Doesn’t everyone want to decrease their stress? Of course, we all do. The hard thing for many of us is to figure out how. This past year, 2020, has only added stress for most people. Telling people to “not worry” doesn’t help one little bit.

I realized the other day that despite not having any reason to be feeling stressed – I was. Today I decided to take a day off. For me, that meant staying in bed for longer than usual, reading, playing a few games, fixing up some of my computer ‘stuff’, & at long last writing this blog. I had been putting it off because my blog site had disappeared – I made a mistake when I thought I was updating things. The other activities, or non-activities, of the day, have included a wee bit of tv, nothing that stretched my brain.

I know I need to practice what I preach. I also realized that a few months ago when I decided to make a few changes to my life I tried to do too much too quickly. I know better than that. But, I needed a reminder from my coach. I need to tackle one thing at a time. Right now I am taking a course – I need to focus on the course – it is short term & will be over in a few weeks. I have made a point of meditating every day. I have meditated for many years, but sometimes go for rather long stretches when I don’t (maybe a month). But, I am back at it – I feel so much better when I meditate at least once a day; why would I not do that every day?

https://unsplash.com/@keaneyefoto

The photo above appears to be a very stressed or sad person. I’ve been feeling like that the last few days – I want to curl up in a ball & ignore everyone & everything around me. Let’s make sure you don’t get to that stage. Regardless of the way I have been feeling I still want to help others. That might actually be a bit selfish – I feel better when I can help others. I don’t need to control, be in charge, or dominate. I want to help by listening, & sharing the strategies I have collected over the years (it’s been a lot of years), & guiding you to do what is best for you. Only you know what you are ready for & can do at this time.

How can I help? You might want to start with a Stress Check-List to see how much stress you are experiencing. I have included the Stress Check-List (from HeartMath) at the end of the blog. There are a plethora of ways to decrease stress. But, stress & decreasing stress aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some things are basics for everyone, but though we are all one, we are also unique & need what works for us as an individual. A few things to think about include: – sleep, healthy nutrition, exercise, meditation, yoga, a soak in a nice warm bath with Epsom salts & essential oils. Some of these are quick fixes, some are part of longer stress reduction & self-care strategies.

All of the above will help decrease stress, but you need to do them daily or frequently. I can help. As a coach/mentor I have many tools in my toolbox & I am sure we can find a few that will work for you.

Recently, I have successfully made it through cancer & chemo-therapy, coping with autoimmune disorders, retiring, & just getting old (yes, even aging can be a stressor).

Do you have too much stress?

Everyone responds to stress differently. Use this checklist to assess the impact stress is having
on your life and if it’s time to do something about it.

Low stress levels
 feel well
 I am able to relax
 Physical recreation brings me pleasure
 Increasing pressure enhances my performance
 My thinking is clear and I learn easily
 I am able to say “No”
 Others see me as adaptable and approachable

Moderate stress levels
 I feel driven, hyperactive, and restless
 I tend to make snap decisions but with errors
 I feel over-burdened but can still say “No”
 I often feel tired but am taking steps to recover
 I often try to squeeze a few extra drops out of my performance
 Discipline, fitness, social pressure and stimulants play a greater role in my ability to perform
 My sleep is just about adequate
 Others see me as tired yet successful


High stress levels
 I don’t think as clearly as I used to
 I feel irritable and “on edge”
 I complain and grumble regularly
 I work longer hours but get less done
 I have repeated minor ailments, aches and pains
 I am exhausted, have poor endurance and my work/life balance is suffering
 I am unable to distinguish the essential from non-essential
 I have sleep problems
 I feel like I’m l operating in survival mode
 I accept excessive burdens and see them as inevitable
 Others see me as energized and successful

Contact your HeartMath® Certified Coach for more information.

Elaine Rose

  • phone/text: 403-561-0185
  • email: fromtheheartwithdr.elaine@gmail.com
  • book an appointment: https://calendly.com/fromtheheartwithdr-elaine

© 2015 HeartMath LLC. HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath.

Changes – The Only Thing On Which We Can Rely

I have never been afraid of change. Everything is constantly changing. The world is experiencing huge change because the COVID-19 Pandemic is having an effect on everyone. It is just one of the changes I have experienced over the last seven years. Some of the changes have not been pleasant. However, I have learned a lot. Just as I expect to do in any experience.

I am a big supporter of self-care & have been for many years. I rudely discovered I wasn’t doing quite enough. I am a stubborn person & it took me quite a while to listen. If I had listened to my body a bit sooner maybe I wouldn’t have had seven years of health changes that were anything but pleasant.

In 2013 our home was flooded during the great flood of Calgary. Not good; but, I had been wanting to get rid of the carpet in the basement & make a few other changes. What an opportunity. About a week later that I found out why I had been so incredibly tired for the past year or two – I had an autoimmune disease. Changes.

I had always thought of self-care as going for a massage, a mani-pedi, or as simple as a nice soak in the tub. I also knew that self-care meant not taking on too much & being able to say “no”.

With the news of an autoimmune disease, I listened to my body & I slowed down. Not enough. I adapted, somewhat. I found not being able to do all I wanted very frustrating. I wasn’t able to work enough to keep my job. I retired, not what I wanted, but what I had to do. I hadn’t been without a job in about 40 years. But, I had lots of things to do, just not enough energy to do them all.

Still not feeling well my doctor was watching me & referring me to appropriate specialists. I had my gallbladder removed because of stones & nausea almost every day. The surgery went smooth & I was feeling great the next day & attended my granddaughter’s grade 12 grad just 3 days later.

A week later, things changed. I awoke in great pain. Back to the hospital for a week’s stay, I had pancreatitis. I took the entire summer to recover. A great change to how I would normally spend the summer.

I never got back to feeling well, but I kept plugging along doing what I could to regain strength & endurance. Various symptoms continued to develop. Tests & referrals to a variety of doctors. Eventually, it was noted that my spleen was getting quite large (I hadn’t been able to eat much for several months & my weight was dropping. I was very happy to lose the weight, I needed to drop many pounds. The doctors weren’t quite so happy. Surgery was in order to remove the spleen. I think that went as well as could be expected. The spleen was cancerous, as the doctors had suspected. With my spleen removed I was considered in remission, I would only need to be followed by the cancer clinic. I could handle that. Again doing well recovering from the surgery. Having surgeries was a big change for me & I was pretty happy with both. As a retired ICU nurse, I was very aware of many things that could go wrong.

About a month after the splenectomy, I started to not feel well again. Another change that I wasn’t too happy about. More tests. Off to the hospital again. I wasn’t feeling too bad, & was surprised that the hospital kept me. A couple of days later that changed. I thought I was going to die & the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. A different cancer this time. I was thrilled that it was just cancer & could be treated with chemotherapy & was expected to have a full recovery.

The chemotherapy routine was different – another change. My husband was a marvelous caregiver; I will be forever grateful to him. I finished chemotherapy in February 2020. COVID hit & within a month we were in lockdown. However, that wasn’t a big change for me; I had been very careful since my spleen was removed because no spleen decreases your resistance to infection.

What changes have occurred since then? Well, nothing very major. Another autoimmune disorder, but not much different than what I already had.

Changes

Elaine
Before Chemo
During Chemo

Every day we undergo changes we don’t notice. In one day 2 to 3 million red blood cells are produced. As cells are produced others are dying. As many as 1011 cells die each day in adults. These are only some of our cells. Different cells live for various amounts of time. Just as we cannot step in the same river twice, we are a different person every day with many new cells. Change in you, in me, every day: wow!

When faced with change I suggest looking at what you can learn. Discover how change can be of benefit, or provide the source for an adventure. Whether it is health, how you are functioning in this world, or discovering more about yourself you have a choice to embrace change & make sure you emerge a better person OR you can choose to let the change control you.

I am working to build my coaching/mentoring business. As I do this work, I realize I have lots to learn, not the least is more about technology. I am much more aware of the positive changes we can make. Sometimes we need to make changes so we can manage the changes we have accepted in the past. I love helping people discover the wonderful things they can do with just a bit of discovery & guidance.

What changes would you like to make? Oh my gosh, we can actually choose to make changes. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Will you need to make some changes to get there? Will there also be changes that ‘just happen’?

Book a time in my calendar to schedule a free chat to uncover your strengths & move forward to make your dreams come true.

What is Your Life’s Purpose?

I have set goals for myself for as long as I can remember. When I achieved one life goal I would start on another. But, purpose, I wasn’t quite sure what that was or if I had one. Wife, mother, grandmother, step-mother, registered nurse, volunteer, board member… were these purposes or just examples of who I was & what I was doing? I figured they were just descriptors of what was important to me.

If I didn’t have a life’s purpose then what the heck was this life all about.

Deepak Chopra tells us that according to Dharma’s Law “there’s at least one thing you can do better than anyone else on the entire planet.” I have also heard this from other spiritual leaders. So what is that one thing you can do better than anyone else? I think I was meant to help people. I’m not 100% sure of just how I am to go about that, but I am doing my best to help in a variety of ways.

I was an RN for over 30 years. Being a nurse was very rewarding. I loved my job. But, I am now retired & my health won’t allow me to work as an RN any longer. So how do I help people? Being a nurse fulfilled my purpose of helping others.

I looked up what Deepak Chopra had to say on the subject of Life’s Purpose.

If we choose to follow Dharma’s Law there are three steps:

1. Decide to seek your higher self

2. Find your unique talent or gift

3. Ask, how can I use my unique talent or gift to help others & be of service to humanity

Regardless of religion or spiritual beliefs, I think we all want to be the best we can possibly be. Prior to retiring it was easy to identify my purpose of helping others. Is my purpose still the same? I’m not sure if I know how to help others if I am not at the bedside or providing direct patient care. But, I might be learning.

I hope that through my Blog I will be of help to those who read it & that it will encourage readers to contact me to find out how I can be of service. My HeartMath & Life Coaching of benefitted some. I have not done much of anything to advertise or promote what I do. I think it is now time.

Benefits of Meditation


I have been meditating for several years. I do a variety of types of meditation. Today I got Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Newsletter for August. In that newsletter were a couple of articles on meditation. I found the article on the benefits of meditation very informative & easy to understand.

Though we are all connected, we have different wants & needs. You might not think meditation is for you. There are other things you might find more to your liking. A body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, focused breathing, or visualization might be more along the lines of something with which you are comfortable. If so, you will get the same benefits, it is merely another form of meditation. Check out Dr. Joe’s Newsletter article

A reminder: I am at your service. Please send an email to set up a free consultation.