Saturday, April 4, 2009

Malaise of Life

For most of the past week, I experienced symptoms of medical malaise. I just felt off. I had no energy or interest in doing anything, a poor appetite and vague fleeting physical symptoms of discomfort. Malaise is a word that describes the nondescript. Without knowing exactly what's awry, it doesn't feel right or healthy.

As I was observing myself in this state of medical malaise, I began to think how this term can also describe how one may sometimes feel in their life.

Have you ever felt off, or just not up to your usual level of enthusiasm, optimism or adventure for life? Have you ever noticed that your appetite for the many delights of life, simply did not appeal? Have you ever noticed your physical self resist getting up off the couch to exercise, as though the energy for it had to begin somewhere else in your brain and that part was non-functioning? Have you ever recognized that your attitude about life was unhealthy and that it did not feel good to be in that state of mind?

The good news about malaise of life is that you don't have to wait for a virus to pass before you can feel vibrantly healthy and alive again. You can create the shift from blah to joy, by shifting your thoughts one by one to a more positive state of mind. A fast track to recovery from malaise of life is to practice gratitude. Remembering to be grateful for all, because all life experiences will ultimately serve you. Exchange helpless feelings for hopeful ones.

As with medical maladies, there are prophylactic approaches that can be taken to lower the chances of ever becoming ill. This is true with the non-physical maladies such as malaise of life, as well.

Be careful what you think about, remembering positive thoughts are healthy and negative thoughts are not. Love yourself, unconditionally, all of the time. Forgive yourself and others whenever an opportunity arises. Seek out loving, joyful experiences and live them often.

This treatment plan can be effective anytime.....before or after symptoms appear.....Be consistent and you will always be vibrantly healthy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Following the Beat of Your Drum

Imagine there is a drum, beating deep within you, that is guiding you to live a life of joy and ease. The beat of your drum is uniquely yours and very often may not be in sync with the drum beats of those you come in contact with. Perhaps your tempo is slow and steady with a very powerful resonance, while someone else's drum beat may be a faster and lighter rhythm. There are innumerable tempos and rhythms and all of them are perfect, but only for the person they are guiding.

When you are consciously staying in step with the beat of your own drum, life will feel easier. When you are trying to keep step with the rhythm of another person's drum, it will feel awkward and uneasy. Sometimes we insist that others follow our drum beat instead of their own, and that doesn't feel good either.

So how do we manage to follow our own unique drum beat and still be part of a family, a business, community, country or planet that is a conglomerate of numerous rhythms? We can do so, by respecting ourselves as we respect others. If we remember we do not have to sell out on ourselves to fit in and do not have to insist that others change to match our needs, we can all live in peace.

The more we practice listening to our own unique beat and experience the peace and joy of life that comes with it, the better we are able to appreciate the unique rhythms that surround us from others.

When we are following the beat of our own drum as others are doing the same, beautiful music will always be the result.

Please visit my website for more joy related offerings.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Building Relationships

My observations of the lessons from a lizard have continued. As shared in a previous post, Monty, my sons Giant Sudan Plated lizard, has temporarily taken up residence in my home. Since he moved in, I have gravitated from resentment to acceptance, to curiosity and more recently to connection.

You may find it hard to believe one could connect with a reptile. Believe me, a month ago I, too, could not believe that was a possibility for me. Instead, what I am noticing is Monty and I are developing a trusting relationship.

At first, he hid whenever I walked by his aquarium. Gradually, he would stay and take my presence in, warily at first, and then with an apparent growing ease. I can only imagine, just as in our human relationships, we both needed time to learn and experience trust.

In conjunction with trust in creating a relationships, another component needed would be a lack of judgment. I know I had judgments of Monty, as he probably did of me....considering of course, that faculty is present in reptiles.

I realize now that my judgments were simply based on fear and a lack of understanding. Isn't that true in human relationships too? We tend to judge or condemn that which we don't understand. If we can manage to be open-minded and less fearful, a basic open curiosity can shift us from a negative stance to a positive one.

Perhaps my judgments of Monty were due to my not liking how he looked. He's scaly and not of a texture typically find warm and inviting. That is not his fault, he is what he is. My judgments of him were more about me and my fears about his being different.

I now find myself appreciating his uniqueness. I enjoy watching him do "his thing", that which is his normal reptilian activities.

Yesterday, a turning point in our relationship occurred. When I removed the top screen to feed him, he did not hide. He stayed out in full view. I decided to test our trust and reached in to pet his head. He calmly received my affection. He did not try to bite me or whip me with his long tail.
It was touching to experience this mutual trust.

So as I take in this experience of growing trust, I can see what my growing edge is in my human relationships. Letting go of preconceived judgments and fears, being curious, allowing the other person to be who they are, without my trying to change them, creates a space for true trust to grow.

I encourage you to pay attention to those relationships that are not fulfilling and do not hold trust. What is it that you need to let go of to open the door for more trust in your relationships?