Saturday, August 28, 2010

You Really Do Deserve The Royal Treatment

Last August I made some "good read" suggestions to my readers. Hard to believe that a whole year has come and gone. This year I would like to bring to your attention another good find.

Often we are quick to congratulate others on a job well done. We compliment our family and friends on successes and accomplishments with ease. Many of us praise one another over any number of things. However, there is one person that we can be so hard on. Someone who should be number one and who deserves recognition for who they are. If you're already smiling and nodding, you know who I'm talking about.

It can be said about many of us that we are generally harsher on ourselves than on others.

A very lovely woman, who I have had the pleasure of meeting on a couple of occasions, has made it her duty to bring to the forefront this very issue. Stacey Joiner, a licensed massage therapist and certified yoga instructor, has authored a book that should be read by women of all ages. And, quite frankly, the younger the better.

'You Deserve The Royal Treatment' (a woman's guide to living royally) should not be judged by title alone. This is not a book teaching ladies how to primp and pamper themselves. It goes way beyond that. The seventeen chapters delve into the deeper sense of self and how to think of self in a different, guilt free way. Each of the chapters comes with a little bonus; an easy to follow yoga exercise. After all, we need to learn how to relax in this overly stimulated world of ours. Ms. Joiner has taken into consideration our inherent need for the combination that provides us with greater health - mind, body and soul.

She teaches us to change our perspective. That can be a very difficult task. I have, over the years, attended many of my son's hockey games, and found myself getting caught up in the passion of quick paced action. When penalties were called against our kids' team, we couldn't understand how blind the referee could be. Now, had we been sitting in the bleachers on the other side of the rink, our perspectives would have been completely different.

Ms. Joiner guides us through her charmingly titled chapters that hold deeper meaning, leading us to the place we are supposed to be. We should be the "Queens of our Castles". Our bodies and minds are our own personal temples. To dwell within, in peace, is our right.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You are now entering...

...the State of Chaos.

You're driving down a graying, faded road, the broken white lines almost imperceptible. Cracked moguls; minor asphalt eruptions, blister the dull highway. On either side of the road weathered, barbed wire fences lean every which way, surrounded by bleached and unattended grass that struggles to survive in spite of the flaked, dried mud. Rows of trees, some charred, others splintered and devoid of leaves, stand back a hundred feet or so from the poorly edged route.

Every so often the highway forks on the right hand side, leading towards places unknown. Strangely enough, though, as the exits loom and disappear the inflammatory crackling of the radio stations calms becoming crystal clear, the sky overhead shows signs of fair weather, and the air becomes oxygenated. As the exit fades into the background, once again, the gloomy surrounding replaces the more idyllic of the two settings.

The road trip has no specific destination. You can exit anywhere you like, yet, the straight expanse of highway has a grip on you. Not knowing what to expect when the exit leads you to the next intersection feels slightly uncomfortable. Even though the blue skies and crisp radio air waves are much easier on the eyes and ears, you opt for the miserable, albeit familiar choice. So, for a while longer you continue to drive on autopilot.

Who amongst us hasn't, at one time or another, lived in the State of Chaos? A relationship going downhill? A job that was neither inspiring nor fulfilling? Physical or emotional demands that took away one's daily pleasures?

To mire one's self in the muck, simply because it's familiar muck, is no way to live. In fact, it's not living. Agoraphobics remain in the house indefinitely due to the fear of being amongst others in a public environment. It's a common phenomenon, in the State of Chaos, to stay with the familiar. In this State one does not explore their potential for fear of failure. In Chaos, everyone pats themselves on the back for staying thirty years on the job, even though the job held them back from better and brighter futures. Chaos is not interested in happy lives, but more so in maintaining the status quo (existing state of affairs).

Chaos, also known as the State of Confusion, leads nowhere. If you stay on that gloomy strip of pavement, it loops back. Any one of the alternate routes, or exits, would lead you out of that state. You just have to steer yourself towards one of them. There are many such exits, but, just like wanting to win the lottery requires you to at least purchase a ticket, you must choose an exit and then...exit!

That exit can be the toll pass to the State of Excitement. Excitement in a new relationship, satisfaction in a new job, and possibly the best physical and emotional health of your entire life.

Hopefully your eyes are now wide open as you search for the sign that reads "You are now leaving the State of Chaos".

State of Excitement, State of Happiness, State of Wonder - here we come!