Feel the cool, crisp air whisk around your skin
What fills you with joy? A somatic based therapist inquires about how do you generate and experience joy? Typically, people will look to externals for what brings them joy--a trip to the beach, sharing watermelon with their children, or riding bicycles on a beautiful sunny, summer day. External activities, people or places could bring you joy, but joyfulness is generated from the inside out rather than from the outside in. It's not the people, places or things that make a person experience joy.
The dictionary defines joy as the feeling of great pleasure or happiness. Common synonyms are: delight, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, delight, rapture, radiance.
What's an attitude? It's how you embody yourself, and the experiences you generate. In order to experience and express the synonyms of joy, it's obvious to me, that each of the words would be distinctly different from the other words. The mere fact of calling them a synonym makes them seem the same. Having discernment about your own experiences is important! Knowing how to distinguish between nuances of your experiences can help you organize yourself and generate more rewarding connections with others.
Rather than looking to externals for your joy and sense of fulfillment, how do you connect to yourself, organize your bodily attitudes and fill yourself in a joyous capacity?
How do you share that with others, or once you have generated the experiences for yourself, what will you choose to do with the experience? Some people may choose to sustain and contain their experience, while others may prefer to share it with others. If generating, containing, experiencing and or sustaining joy is challenging for you, consider what barriers are in your way, and how best to address them?
Rather than read and think further about the topic: take a moment to take a few deep breaths, check into your sensational self, and bring yourself to a joyful place. Pay attention to what you do to get yourself to experience joy? Are you generating visions, sounds, memories? What do you do to fill yourself with joy and how will you respond to the joy you create?
Today, I'm going to give myself an attitude of gratitude as the flavor to the joy, I'll create.
Enjoy (there it is again). Joy is everywhere, should you choose it.
Since moving to North Carolina from Tucson, Arizona, my home of fifteen years, it was time to practice what I preach. Mixed emotions plagued me for the first 6 months. I felt sad, lonely and grieved the loss of a balanced life I loved, and worked hard to establish and maintain. I also felt excited and hopeful for the new opportunities for myself and my family. Around the 9 month mark after moving, I came to grips with the reality that I was feeling rather impatient. Generating a balanced life I loved living was going to be a significantly longer process than I expected.
Call Karen at (520) 955-9503. Email: karen@TrueFormCoaching.com. You can learn more at www.TrueFormCoaching.com
I look forward to working with you!
How did you apply your best self in your life in 2016?
What do you want to change going forwards in 2017?
Are you looking to improve the quality of your life or actions as you go forwards into 2017?
Change is inevitable, do you want to be the agent of change in your own life?
What would it take for you to be more ____________ (fill in the blank: happier, satisfied, intimate, loving, successful, faster, stronger, empowered….. keep going).
It's worth asking yourself the question: how can I make myself and my life better? You're as worthy as the next person to have an amazing life.
When we remove the blocks or barriers and/or develop the necessary skills we lack, we can easily generate the life we deeply desire.
Sometimes we want to give the gift of coaching to others, help them to change and if the person desires this, then change is possible. I am having a sale on coaching now through the end of the year.
Take the chance that you can become everything you desire and make it happen for yourself in 2017. A collaboration with a coach, helps become your guide, and accountability mentor keeping you on track, as you make your dreams and resolutions a reality throughout the year.
The world of competitive sport is always on the lookout for the latest clothing, techniques and training to give athletes an edge. As we saw in the recent Rio Olympic Games, team USA focused on cupping for their athletes - a largely unproven technique to aid recovery and one of many fads and phases over the years to be tested on sports stars.
Wearing compression clothing by contrast to cupping isn’t a new technique to be used by sports men and women to aid performance, but it is one of growing usage and prominence. Sports stars as such are now queueing up to wear the latest in tight fitting socks and shirts, and men in tights are just as likely to be congregating on the track as on the streets of Soho. So what is the real science behind compression clothing and does it actually work?
What is It?
Sports compression clothing comes in all shapes and sizes, from socks and tights to sleeves and vests. It works by compressing areas of the body where blood can pool during exercise, improving the flow of blood around the body and the distribution of oxygen through the muscles. This is particularly useful in the extremities such as the lower leg and ankles, where anybody that has suffered from swollen ankles can testify is an area notorious for problems.
So what is the problem? This pooling of blood can lead to aching limbs after exercise, as well as leading to issues such as varicose veins in later life. By wearing compression clothing, this pooling is prevented, leading to lower recovery times and greater endurance.
How Does it Work?
Compression clothing is designed to defy the laws of gravity and give blood a helping hand to flow more smoothly around the body. Valves that are supposed to return blood back to the heart can become ineffective through age and injury, resulting in a slight backflow of blood and weakening of the vein walls.
Compression clothing counteracts this by applying firm, graduated pressure to the muscles and veins, exerting more pressure in problem areas such as the ankles to encourage the blood to flow up the leg, improving performance of the valves and returning blood back to the heart more efficiently.
Does it Actually Work?
A number of studies have been undertaken to determine the effects of compression clothing on athletes. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health focused on the effects of compression clothing on runners. In the study, compression clothing including socks, calf sleeves, shorts and tights were assessed to understand the effect both on performance and recovery over a number of different disciplines including half marathons, trail running, 5 & 10km runs and 400m sprints.
The study found that although there was no noticeable effect on performance times over the range of disciplines, positive effects were found for the calculated time to exhaustion, perceived exertion and peak leg muscle power. It also found that there were large positive effects for post-exercise soreness and a delay in onset of muscle fatigue.
While the sporting world might feel immune to yet another perceived fad, the science shows that compression clothing is far from this. While timed performance may not be improved from wearing it, studies have shown that by wearing compression clothing there is an improvement in endurance performance, running economy, biomechanical variables, perception and muscle temperature.
So what does this mean in English? Simply put, compression clothing has been shown to increase the time to exhaustion and greatly improve recovery times after exercise, as well as benefits in reduced muscle pain, damage and inflammation.
As with any addition to sporting equipment, it should be considered what the user wishes to get from it before purchasing it. While it might not help you to run a sub 3 hour marathon, compression clothing will help with endurance and improve the time of recovery, as well as making the walk down the stairs feel slightly more comfortable the following morning.
For more information on sports compression clothing, you can visit The Leg Care Company.
Written by Charlotte Waller
How many times in life do we need to learn the same lesson? I suppose until the lesson is fully mastered, and then we may move on to another life lesson.
Since 2011 I have not enjoyed the open water triathlon swim. Each time I find myself again in the competitive swim environment I question my motives: why I do keep signing up for Xterra Triathlons? My mental mantra had been “I do this because it allows me to get to the bike and run.” Biking and running are two events that I quite enjoy.
A couple weeks ago, I participated at the Rock hopper Xterra, a pre-season 2017 race, in Tempe, AZ. For the first time ever, I experienced enjoyment in an open water competitive swim. My previous lack of enjoyment never stopped me from competing, but I envied friends who actually found this part fun.
There was nothing factually different about this swim from all other triathlon competitive open water swim events; I got elbowed, kicked, grabbed and edged out by larger competitors. I did some feet grabbing and nearly pulled out my water polo flip over the back of a competitor maneuver, not yet used in competition. However, what was completely different this day was that I felt at peace in the water. I had a sense of ease with the waves and the other bodies thrashing around me. Simply, nothing bothered me. I felt calm, protected, safe and in the moment. I flowed with the currents and enjoyed the feel of the water.
I made my way to transition. I felt strange, I had a new experience, “fun” in the swim. I shook off the odd strangeness and refocused myself for the bike event.
Once on the bike, I used my pacing strategies, drafted off a competitor into a head wind, and took each obstacle as it came. I have dreamed of passing competitors up hills, for years, and trained on hills, but typically this was where I got crushed. On this day, my dream came true! I felt astounded, and it occurred not just once but several times.
I passed four girls and held my lead on the downhills. I made solid advances. Quickly I found myself riding with only men. I know this is an excellent sign of a solid lead and a potential podium. I felt excited about that possibility. Thinking about results, in the moment of a sport performance, will make those results more elusive. I refocused my thoughts to the moment and put results thinking aside. “Just have a fun, solid ride,” I told myself. I’m an auditory person and mantras work better for me than visual images. “Be here, now,” “ride and have fun.”
I was alone out on the course during my second lap. This was unusual and I argued with myself internally about whether or not it was a two lap course. Doubt, started to creep into my mind. Doubt is cancerous to a solid sport performance. It is completely self-destructive and many athletes attack and destroy themselves when they allow doubtful thoughts to drag them down. Clients call this, “the spiral of death,” “the black hole,” “the dark side of the force,” I’ve heard all sorts of names for it. I do not typically fight with doubt, but there it was. I decided it was time to get it out of my head.
I used lyrics of a modern pop song my teenagers listen to, ”My name is NO, my number is NO, No, No, No,” I sang to myself to stop the mental argument and return to the moment. I decided if I did an extra lap, I could be proud of myself for a longer workout. It’s my job to know the course. It was a two lap course two years ago, but I didn’t check, I assumed the course would be two laps again. This assumption opened the door for doubt to grow and deteriorate my confidence.
I rode into transition, and I knew I had a very solid lead on my competitors. Turns out it was a two lap course and doubt was gone—for the moment. But like cancer it can go into remission and return to rear it’s ugly head when you least expect it.
It was time to pace my run at 85% up until the last half mile and then go full out. This course is a sprint distance and counts towards Xterra Points for the 2017 season, a course that works towards my strengths. I enjoy running, but it’s not my best of the three events. I had not been training for speed leading into this race, I settled myself with “just do the best I can, it’s a pre-season race, plenty of time for speed workouts before next season.”
The most amazing thing happened, again for the first time ever, I passed a girl running uphill. I used to lie to myself and say, “I am a strong uphill runner,” something I wanted to be true. It helped ward off hopelessness, doubt and depression about giving up the lead I had from the bike while I was passed by competitors on the run. However, this day, I actually was a strong uphill runner. I ran down, not just one girl going uphill, but I overtook two more. This was truly unbelievable! How I have longed for this experience, and there it was! I could hardly believe both the bike and the run, I must have gotten stronger this year—finally. I felt proud, stunned, strong and pleased with my progress.
I was solidly in qualifying position for a slot to World Championships.
I stayed focused in the moment and was a half mile from the finish. It was time to kick it into full gear and give my 100%, making certain to leave everything out on the course. I’m having the best race of my life, I’m running at full effort, I was .3 miles from the finish line when I saw the trail turn off to the right and on some deep level I knew it was the right way to go, but I would have been alone, again.
A large pack of male competitors I had been trying to chase down, all went straight onto the concrete, missing the trail. I did not hesitate long enough. The cancerous doubt returned, corroded my confidence, and I abdicated my deep inner truth to follow the crowd. I have always been more of a follower than a leader, valuing my easy-going nature, yet in this moment…. I did myself a disservice. And it’s not the first time that following a crowd has gotten me in trouble.
Shooting pain in my hamstring stopped me dead in my tracks, a cramp. I paused to walk, gripped my hamstring with my hand and waited for it to release. The group of men turned back and passed me as I stood frozen breathing through pain. I never cramp, luckily the pain was subsiding. I could run again and I took off, only this time I decided I would not make the same mistake twice, and I would not follow the men again. And that was my second major mistake. I took off running towards the trail, up the sidewalk where I thought I could get back to the trail, but it turned out to be a dead end, the sidewalk was fenced off for construction and I was stuck, off course, lost and walking. Dazed and confused I walked an extra mile. Struggling with subsiding hamstring pain, mental confusion and heart ache. I slowly made my way back towards the finish line. I threw away my position for Worlds. Disbelief and curiosity filled me as I slowly found my way to the finish line. Why haven’t I completely mastered this life lesson?
This is what I love about athletics, and why I continue to sign up for races. I grow as a human being through my sports. If we look closely at our life themes, they will cross multiple areas of our lives. I can assure you I have been learning to trust myself, risk following my own path, not abdicating my power to others in multiple areas of my life, for many years. This life lesson is by no means isolated only to my athletics.
Am I upset? Not anymore, but of course I felt upset, particularly at myself for not trusting myself in a crucial, defining moment. Will the discomfort I feel be enough to teach me to listen deeply, to trust my inner voice and to be willing to go against the direction of a crowd next time? If it is not, I will be presented with another opportunity in the future, to learn this same lesson. It is often our pain and discomfort that are our biggest teachers, not our successes.
People who know me, know that I often talk about focus being a choice. I stand at a crossroads. I can focus on how I threw my qualifying spot with three tenths of a mile from the finish line or I can focus on the amazing zen-like swim, which I have longed for, the personal progress of actually passing people uphill on both the bike and the run.
Where I place my focus greatly influences my experiences in life, and focus is a choice. I find this choice empowering and freeing. It’s like a secrete key to success. I always thought that where I lacked in athletic talent, I made up for with a solid mental game. I have developed my mental game mainly by choosing where to place my focus.
Feelings come and go, and I have had a lot of feelings about this race over the last couple weeks. One friends suggested I allow myself to be upset, angry, disappointed and hurt for 24 hours and then let it go. I liked her idea of giving myself a time-frame. I felt so conflicted initially and for the remainder of the day.
How could I stay upset? I had one of the best races of my life! I felt proud, amazed, astounded and my progress was so apparent; And yet I don’t have the results to show for it. Ultimately I stand at the cross roads ready to make a choice, how do I want to feel about this event? Since my focus is a choice, I allowed myself to feel upset and then after 24 hours, I moved towards acceptance and let go of all negative feelings. I could nurse my grudge towards myself, but to what end? It will only hurt my personal progress and block me from important personal growth. Wouldn’t it be more valuable to spend my energy wondering how I generated that blissful, fun swim experience? If I created it once, I can do it again. If I choose to focus on the lessons learned, I will solidify my progress and personal growth.
There will be more races in the future and more opportunities to qualify. The more important question truthfully is, how many more opportunities will I need, in the future to learn to trust myself, or have I fully learned this lesson, such that I can move on to mastering the next one?
Want to grow personally through your athletics? Not an athlete but want to work with Karen Quigley? She is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, a life coach and sport psychology consultant in private practice. Karen@TrueFormCoaching.com 520-955-9503. Define yourself!
Bullying hurts our children and we want it to end immediately. Despite this desire, the reality is that we all have only limited control over the world and how our children are treated by it. Love and Logic places an emphasis on empowering children to become victors rather than victims.
As parents it's our job to guide our children through challenging times and teach them to respond to their world in ways that are effective.
When we respond to our children with compassion while helping our kids develop the skills required to protect themselves, we open the door for learning to occur.
When we react, get excited, angry and take over the situation, we steal important growth opportunities from our children.
Rescue only when necessary.
We must rescue our children when they experience bullying so severe that it overwhelms their ability to cope physically or emotionally. That’s what good parents do.
Unnecessary rescuing creates weak kids who become more popular targets for bullies. Children feel helpless and perpetuate being the victim.
Listen with an open heart.
When our children are hurting, the most important thing we can do is listen with empathy, allowing them to express their full range of emotions. It is our job to tolerate their emotions, validate their feelings and teach them the skills to handle behaving properly for the situation. Of course, this can become difficult when we, too, are flooded with feelings over the issue.
Isn’t it true that when we know how much other people care, it makes the struggles we are facing seem more manageable? We often find that we too can handle challenging situations, when we know we are supported by those who love us, children experience strength from our love and compassion in the same capacity.
Empower them with the belief that they can cope.
Down deep, children feel empowered when we ask, “What do you think you might do to solve this problem?” While they may lack answers to this question, asking it demonstrates that we believe in their abilities.
Give them some practical experiments.
Learning to deal effectively with bullies hinges on our child’s ability to remain calm, or even use a bit of humor, when the bully tries to upset or provoke them.
People who learn how to handle bullying when they are kids, learn how to handle the bullies they will occasionally encounter as adults.
If you're not certain how to teach these skills to develop resilient children, who are capable of handling their challenges attend Love and Logic Parent Education on 10/18, 10/25, 11/1.