Way.ca.tion: A rest for the mind; an unconventional method of escaping the moment and returning refreshed and better than before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Four More Day’s till Christmas

Though I don’t have a lot to do to prepare for Christmas this year, I still find that I’m distracted by December’s activities and expectations.

For an upcoming party I decided to wear a great little outfit that had been packed away for a couple of years. Mindful of my spending, I chose to hand wash and line dry a cute little two piece dress. After a full day of line drying my outfit was still damp so, despite the label’s care instructions, I decided to use the dryer to speed up the process. When the cycle ended I saw that my outfit was still damp and for the next two days whenever I thought about it I’d try a new dryer setting only to find my outfit still lay damp and limp.

Fast-forward to day three, and my outfit was still not dry. I realized the dryer motor worked but decided the heating cycle was broken. This was the beginning of my unproductive tension. It started with one little negative thought, the beginning of beating myself up: “Now I have to wear something I don’t want to wear”, followed by thoughts of whether or not I should make a quick run to the store and buy another outfit; followed by thoughts of past transgressions which lead to this disaster and, of course, thoughts of the money I’d tried to save wasted on fixing the dryer to boot!!

I spent 45 minutes on Google looking for dryer repair people. Just before making the call, I stopped by my laundry room again. After days of multiples cycles and time spent filled with negative thoughts, like whirling dervishes in my head, I realized that the garment had never made it to the dryer. I’d been turning the dryer on but had never removed my dress from the washing machine.

To state the obvious: you can’t dry clothes in a washer it never work!

Being distracted wastes time. It’s costly and sure to make you angry at yourself or someone else. When you’re distracted you’re not focused. Once distracted you can easily move to a place called “unproductive tension,” where after an incident such as mine, you allow your mind to build thought upon negative thought—and suddenly your mind has run away with itself. At that point you’re a wreck and you’ve probably made a few other people around you “wrecks” as well, and yes, even angry.

During these holiday times we find ourselves terribly distracted: arguments in stores or at work; road rage; and melancholy while watching a Christmas commercial. This is why I think there are so many accidents, depression and arguments during the last quarter of the year. We are thinking so much more and pre-occupied with the past too much or are too far in the future and not present to what really should be a joyous time.

So as a specialist with tools my moments are short and far apart but at last the specialist is also human. What I say to you I say to myself: stay focused, stay present, notice what’s happening in your head before your thoughts have a chance to build momentum. The sooner you catch yourself in the act of building your mental snowball or mind tornado the easier it is to stop.

Jingle all the way…..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eight More Day’s till Christmas……..

Self Quiz

Are You Too Busy? How Can You Tell?

Although it may not always seem so, how we fill and spend our time is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you're caught up in the "too-busy" cycle.

True | False
1. I constantly find myself doing "urgent" things and trying to catch up.
2. I allow myself to drift into obligations before I know how much time or energy they'll require.
3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I'm always tired and never feel that I accomplished enough.
4. I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
5. I don't make time for self-care: physical exercise, nurturing or pampering myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing or simply doing nothing.
6. I seldom have time to do the things I really love. My work and project areas are cluttered with "I'll look at this later" stacks and "to-do" piles.
7. I often miscalculate how long activities will take.
8. I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
9. I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, text messages and email, and allow them to take me off track.
10. I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily "to-do" list, it's impossible to complete in a day.
11. I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
12. I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future
when I have more time, making comments such as "as soon as..." or "next year..."
13. I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn't plan well enough.

14. I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
15. I often do things because I "should," or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
16. Other people complain that my schedule doesn't allow enough time for them.

If you answered "true" to many of these questions and would like to explore ways to slow down your life, please don't hesitate to call: 510.393.0250

Ahh rump-pa-pomp-pomp......

Nine More Day’s till Christmas

Make up a survival kit and give it as a gift. I’m telling you this is the coolest gift ever to give to a teacher or co-worker. SERIOUSLY!! Can you imagine how grateful a teacher would be if you gave them all the contents of the survival kit?

Put yourself in your daughter or son’s third grade teacher’s shoes. Imagine having 20 sweet little darling’s all-day-long!!!

You really can’t go wrong with the price point of the gift either. I know if someone had gifted me “calm in a basket” when I had all the little ones I would have been incredibly appreciative.

Co-workers and Secret Santa’s forget the hype gifts and give the gift of "calm". It is wonderfully thoughtful, easily done and super cost effective.

First you’ll need to purchase if you don’t already have a bag to hold the contents. You probably have something already and if you don’t want to spend any money on a bag just get a baggy.

What to put in the bag? A really good brand of:
      Chamomile tea
      Peppermint tea
      Celestial Seasons mood mender

Mix the teas up. However if you just choose one type of the teas you’ll be just fine.

You can add Vitamin C 1000 milligram packets in a box and some Airborne.

This completes the stress survival kit. If you want to, add one of those cool teapots or a cup and if you have a few extra bucks buy them some Bach’s Rescue Remedy (calm in a bottle). Not necessary just extra’s.

You can thank me later!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Between the holidays and end of the year deadlines the last three months of the year can generate an incredible increase in stress. I’ve given a stress reduction kit to clients as a gift that I recommend keeping at work, home and in the car. While the kit isn’t the complete answer to the revved up tensions that happen during the holidays, it sure helps.

The point of this Survival Kit is to control the anxiety and tension that comes from all that money you’re spending, long lines and crowded streets the holiday’s can bring. I love everything I’m recommending. The key is not just putting the kit together but giving it a try. Trust me, being prepared will make a very big difference.

Find a nice bag (a baggie if you have to).

Then add in an assortment of teas. NOTHING WITH CAFFEINE! Use a good Chamomile or Peppermint tea… I like a tea by Celestial Seasoning called Mood Mender. I like to mix up the teas but if you choose just one for your Survival Kit, that’s Okay.

These calming, herbal teas became my “little friends” during intense meetings. I first started drinking these teas when I worked in Corporate America some years ago. I quickly discovered that there are times to drink coffee and times to drink soothing herbal teas, and knowing these times became part of my survival.

Next, get yourself some vitamin C 1000 milligram packets which come in a box and can be purchased at any store. Not only will it help to stave off a cold, but one packet diluted in water will give you much needed energy. Don’t forget to keep Airborne at home and the office.

Of course, you’ll need a hot and cold cup and, since most people these days carry around bottled water, add one to two packets of “C” or water in your cup. Cheers!

Don’t live without Bach’s Rescue Remedy in your life from this point forward.
Rescue Remedy is great during stressful times. It’s calm in a bottle; a tasteless herbal concoction that’s one of the great inventions of modern times. It only takes a few drops in your water bottle or under your tongue and voila! What looked like an insurmountable obstacle becomes a very manageable challenge. I should own stock in this stuff. I simply love it!! When taken during demanding times it has a re-centering and calm effect.

Lastly folks, though it won’t fit in your bag. Do what I call “stepping out of the ring.” I know you want to work through lunch because you “just want to get the job done,” and sometimes you must, however commit to stepping out of the ring of intense energy by walking, or any other physical exercise, 3 times a week at lunch.

By using the tricks in your Survival Bag, not only will you find yourself calmer during these crazy times, but you’ll be able to enjoy them.

Peace on Earth……