Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

What amazing things did you step up and do that you never thought you could? How are you feeling about the incredible year that you've had?First the old woman stands in front of you and looks deeply into your eyes. Her voice is the most beautiful sound you have ever heard. She looks at you and says, I am honored to be in your presence. Before you can speak she puts her finger over your lips and tells you to hold on to the love and not give it away with your words. Coffee date love. Lifetime-forever love. And yes, most importantly, they find self-love. Never find love, my ass. Community and Friend Love I'm learning so much about the power that having a circle of friends can hold in my life. Not just one friend, or a bunch of acquaintance friends, but rather a tight-knit circle of people who know you, love you, and support you. It's a farting wonderful thing. It's also a farting important thing. Obviously, who you surround yourself with matters, and when you're learning to love yourself (and your body), it's critical to be around those who are aligned with your values and supportive of your ultimate goals. You could also have Mary the first timer to yoga who has done a little Pilates before. You also have a gymnast in your class as well as a large burly builder. You also have a keen yoga teacher trainee in your class. Does this caution of not doing headstand after shoulderstand (or vice versa) apply to everyone in this class? My Laura defies the laws of physics at times.

Is she to NEVER do these poses in that sequence because it is dangerous? What logic is this rule based on let alone any science? The basic laws of health and fitness say that when you are writing an exercise programme for a client, the exercises selected should be suitable for that client's ability levels. This is common sense. So, nothing is dangerous if the client or student has been built up for the more complicated exercises. Asking these questions stems from some good democratic values that certainly benefit the children. I often ask my wife what she would like for dinner without being obliged to serve this. Likewise, she might ask me which dress I think she should wear--only for her to return a while later in a completely different one. Questions of this nature show an interest in getting some input, inspiration or perhaps a desire to be challenged. Neither party should feel bound by the answer--irrespective of who asks. Being right or getting things your way might mean that you are taken seriously--but it is only one of several ways of being taken seriously. Sometimes it might also mean that the one who asks does not feel like having a conflict or getting into an argument. The spontaneous No! I am confident that many parents regularly feel they instantly need to say No! They might have norms or values that are so ingrained that they do not need any consideration at all. She hugs you and then she is gone. Next the old man stands in front of you and says, I too am honored to be in your presence. His voice resonates through your entire body. You take a deep breath and take his words in. He smiles and before he leaves he reminds you that they will always be with you, right at the edge of your reality, waiting, and wanting to love you.

Whenever you think of them you hear their voices reminding you, loving you. They are a part of you now and always. You stand alone in the middle of the clearing and you are filled with love and peace. You are your true self and you know you are a gift, and you go forth into your life to share your light. Take your time getting up. Take inventory of those around you. Make sure they respect themselves and you. Make sure they are the kinds of people who are working toward happiness. Make sure the good they bring is good, and the bad they bring is far less than the good. A favorite tweet of mine? Find the people who will help you create that life. Love them unconditionally. That's from my gal Virgie Tovar, of course. We are taught to be nice and polite humans, and that those who in any way disregard others must lack some sort of moral upbringing. We are also conditioned to believe that the more people like us, the better. In a yoga class, nothing is dangerous if the student has the capacity to tolerate the stress. So, saying one should never do this or do that is absolutely incorrect. The teacher just wants to be perceived by the class as authoritative and knowledgeable and I sympathise. In the modern and very competitive yoga teacher market, what teacher wants to tell their students that everything is fine? If I say to students, Yeah, just do whatever as long as it doesn't make you cry and another teacher says, You should never lock the knee, which teacher appears knowledgeable to the new student?

It certainly is not me. Yoga teachers put too much stock in what some senior teacher said or what they hear. Very little of what they say is based on actual evidence. It was the Buddha who urged us all to find and seek for ourselves. We should also apply these wise words to our teaching. This might be something they carry from their own childhood or something rather irrational and very difficult to explain. If this causes a serious conflict it is worthwhile considering our motives but it is not always necessary for you to be able to explain the reasons for the No! It is, in fact, more important that the parents are able to stand up for their right to be irrational than that they invent some convoluted pedagogical explanation. For example-- I can't tell you why I say No! I just know it is what I mean and you will have to accept that for the time being. Humans are not rational beings and I honestly believe it is very important that adults as well as children stand by their right to be irrational--and even unreasonable. A few days, weeks or months later we might revisit the issue and talk to the other person about it again. Were you to make up some explanation to suit the occasion you might also be blocking your ability to subconsciously work on the issue. You would be none the wiser from the experience. You might want to put a sign on your mirror that says, I'm honored to be in your presence. Read it often and speak it lovingly to yourself as you stand in front of the mirror and look directly into your eyes. Agreements--Consciously or unconsciously we make contracts or arrangements with the people in our lives and with the world itself. We have agreed to believe certain things and to act in a specified manner. If our parents believed intimacy was unsafe we may have agreed to believe that too.

We may have an unconscious agreement with ourselves to remain unhappy. We are generally unaware of our agreements and yet they dictate most of our choices and our actions. Assumptions--We often assume that we know what another person is thinking or feeling. We assume other people think the same way we do. We assume people mean the same thing we think they mean. As in, the closer your individual feedback rating is to 100 percent, the better a person you are. This is sometimes called the Need-to-Please Disease, and there are a number of causes. It's especially common with those of us who have super low self-esteem. When we don't believe in ourselves, we think we need a large number of other people to validate us. Unfortunately, while support systems are definitely necessary, accumulating copious amounts of devotees ain't the answer. We don't need a million friends; If you find yourself struggling with the Need-to-Please Disease, try spending less time trying to seduce lots of people to like you and instead focus on cultivating relationships with those who are also working toward a life full of love, happiness, and (most importantly) progress. Now, I'm not saying you should ditch any of your friends who aren't wildly successful and spout affirmations every ten seconds with a shit-eating grin on their faces 24/7. In fact, if you had friends like that, I would be completely weirded out and wonder what they're hiding, because Jesus, whatever it is, it must be BIG. What I AM trying to say is probably better said by Jade Beall: The Buddha taught us to know for ourselves what is hurtful or divisive. The emphasis is always on seeing and knowing, not on calculating and believing as seeing creates wisdom. Knowledge that has been imposed on us or borrowed from someone else is not wisdom. We must be convinced of our own logic before we tell our students what they should or shouldn't do. The more one studies the human body, the more you question what you read.

Monday, 10 August 2020

If my heart could do my thinking

Not trying too hard is what has allowed my hamstrings to relax. When I was stretching them before, they were getting the same message they have been receiving for twenty-five years. They were still trying to generate force. Children do not use this little word to whine about something. From time to time parents might use No! Parents unfortunately, often take this No! When young children say No! They use No! They also use No! Children have no carefully conceived motives behind saying No! Much has been said and written about how important it is for children to have boundaries and that adults are able to control children's behavior. These issues play a dominant part in the field of child-psychology. So much in fact, that you are forgiven for thinking that this is what parenting and child development is all about. So you spent Saturday mornings before inspections baking and brewing. Furniture gets moved to places it's never sat before, shelves get decorated in new ways, and gardens get lovingly tended. After the hours of effort and sweat, you take a step back to inspect your handiwork and wonder why the hell you would ever sell a place that looks this amazing. Disruption breeds innovation. When we disrupt the norm, the status quo, we start to see new ways of operating in our world that we previously hadn't paid attention to. Change gives us the opportunity to look through different glasses at everyday patterns. Through the growth of `hackathons' (times when individuals come together to collaborate intensely to generate new products or processes) in our workplaces, organisations are going out of their way to disrupt things even when they are working well -- because they understand that innovation and advantage are born out of uncertainty and change.

Shifting into Stand Out is an internal and external disruption you are going through, so it's time to `hack' your own habits, shake things up and try on new ways of interacting with your world. DISRUPTION BREEDS INNOVATION. WHEN WE DISRUPT THE NORM, THE STATUS QUO, WE START For as long as I could recall, his dream was to buy a boat, something he achieved at a relatively young age. At the marina, I saw my dad come alive for the first time. Within a world of charts and navigation, Jimmy Buffett music and GPS technology, a whole social circle existed, full of folks who shared a passion for his special interest. Often, if I came home to visit from college for a weekend, he would spend the whole time on the boat, instead. Back then, I was insulted. But in hindsight, I understand. He had found his nirvana, and would always go to the place where he was most comfortable being Joe. He was painfully shy, often rocked back and forth clumsily during conversations, and relied on scotch or cigarettes to get him through social engagements. When he saw me struggle, asking Santa for a friend, or crying about another social blunder, it was just too much. He would turn and walk out of the room. Even though I want them to get more flexible, I instinctively try to achieve this by making them work harder. I am thus contradicting my own body. Disciple: If the pose remains just physical, just a stretch or just an exercise in balance, are you not missing out on so much? If asana is a branch on the tree of yoga, are you not missing out on something by making this about just physical exercise? That is a good question. You have been taught well. The pose should gradually move into a different dimension from a physical one like an evolution or a metamorphosis.

So, the pose may be just physical for the first few years or decades (finding your balance) and then you may find yourself in a much deeper or further enquiry into yoga. You may find yourself asking questions and reading articles you would not have been ready for all those years ago when you first started. The gradual mutation should be very natural and as a consequence of disciplined practice and not forced because the yoga community says you should be reading a certain article or doing something esoteric by now. This thinking has a widespread and very dedicated following. Accusations of irresponsibility and laziness quickly become the labels that stick to those parents who do not set strict boundaries. This is strongly supported by another primitive trend in children's upbringing and pedagogy. Namely, the increasing popularity of super-nannies, boot-camps and pop-psychology which claims to be able to convert any troublesome family into a calm, clean and structured unit in just a few days. The people behind these approaches try to convince us that theirs is the best way to live. It is noticeable and indeed worrying that the need for setting boundaries is growing at the very same time when children's physical and emotional spaces are decreasing. Most people think that children have become more liberated in their interactions with adults. They also think children have become super-consumers, but they tend to forget the fact that it is no longer possible for children to play, live and grow or indeed do anything without adult supervision. Just a generation ago children had plenty of space and time without adults. That is exactly how they developed what we today call social competence. TO SEE NEW WAYS OF OPERATING IN OUR WORLD THAT WE PREVIOUSLY HADN'T PAID ATTENTION TO. Disrupt the natural patterns that we slip into, even for the small things. For me, disrupting how my day starts has been revolutionary. Instead of being sucked away from dreamy sleep by the pitter-patter of little feet and fingers prying my eyelids open each morning well before they're ready -- and so being on the back foot for the rest of the day -- I realised capturing the sacred solitude of time before the household wakes is integral to my sanity and my ability to tap into calm. Now I'm up at 5 am and my non-negotiable is ten minutes of solitude. This completely changes how I turn up to my day.

Sometimes I'm out running at this time, sometimes I'm reading, sometimes I'm stretching, and occasionally I even have a bath (seriously, the pre-breakfast bath has changed my world). So, instead of having dinner at the same time and the same place every night, mix up your routine by packing a picnic and heading to the river. Instead of articleing back-to-back individual meetings with your team, look at catching up with people in duos so the conversations are still intimate while halving your time. Time passed, and I rather adeptly learned to mimic scripts, faking social ease with finesse. I charmed my father, too, and he was elated. I'm so glad, I remember him saying, a glass in one hand and tears in his eyes, that you don't have the trouble with people that I do. What a pure expression of love. We all want better for our children, and my dad didn't want me to hurt as he had on so many occasions. I remember being somewhat pleased and yet also sad that I'd so easily fooled him; Let him think I haven't been where he has. That I won't yet hurt as he has. Give him that. On one particularly trying night a few years later, my dad told me something that I will never forget. This again is just our mind and insecurities that make us feel desperate to fit in. The reality is that it should not be forced. You cannot enforce dietary changes or spiritual changes on anyone or even yourself. After a while, you just go back to the way you were because this approach does not make you happy. So, to reemphasise, the changes including the new-found interest in the deeper machinations of yoga and meditation should be natural and organic to you but never forced. Patanjali teaches that we should let go of desire and adopt discipline. If you desire spirituality and meditation, you will always be ignorant.

You will always be unsure and feel lost. If you adopt discipline and just practice asanas as a lifestyle rather than a race, you mutate into the real you. You will discover who you really are. This is something neither parents, schools, kindergartens or any other institution can teach children. No matter how hard adults try. Today's child has to be well-functioning--a label that is glued to children making it impossible for them to move freely. For exactly that reason, this article is not designed to support those parents who see a need to set fixed limits and strict boundaries for their children. We do not want to support anyone's desire to control or gain power over others -- children or adults. On the contrary, this article is all about the quality of our relationships and how important it is that we are able to say No! We need to learn to define our own personal boundaries --and as part of that process define ourselves. This is as important for our own lives as it is for the relationships and communities we are part of. We can do this with a very clear conscience for the simple reason that we will provide a good role model for our children. It is first and foremost through loving relationships with others that we are able to learn about ourselves on a deeper and a more profound level. Disrupting your pattern on the small things has the power to shift your world. YOU HOLD THE RULE article The majority of our work at Pragmatic Thinking involves delivering presentations and training programs. Very early in our business, we decided to stop handing out the traditional training evaluation forms for the sessions we delivered. You know the ones because you've filled them in -- asking you to rate the food, the venue, the presenter, and whether Tom's outfit matched the company logo or not. Ditching these forms was a conscious choice and one we haven't regretted, but it wasn't a natural shift to make. We used the evaluation forms when we started our business, and when we sifted through them we started to notice a trend.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

I saw the light

Success only comes from the willingness to never stop trying. Hold for 20 seconds, then release briefly, and repeat the pressure twice more. Still supporting your right foot, find the point just below the nail on the upper side of your second toe. Using the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, gently squeeze the toe, applying pressure to this point. Hold for 20 seconds, release briefly, and repeat the pressure twice more. Finally, the results with tryptophan were inconclusive, although anecdotal evidence suggests that taking supplements of this amino acid may be of help. Herbal remedies need a little more explanation. Herbal remedies Of the herbs that have been rigorously tested, only valerian root has come close to standing up to scrutiny as a sleep treatment (see box, below for a valerian bedtime drink). Historically, though, many herbs have been put forward as treatments to help combat sleeplessness. I've listed these below, but note that these haven't been rigorously tested for their sleep-promoting qualities. Dweck shows that the differences between the two groups (fixed and growth) are remarkabl on just about every measure. Those people who have a `fixed' mindset believe that character, intelligence, talent and ability are set and won't change in significant ways, and assume that success is a result of inherent intelligence. On the other hand, a `growth' mindset thrives on challenges. Failure is not seen as evidence of a lack of intelligence but as an opportunity to learn, develop new skills and grow. The following table provides some examples of the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Fixed Growth I've always been hopeless at maths . Perhaps if I get some coaching and dedicate a little more effort, I can improve . I never stood a chance in that interview .

I'm gutted I missed the job, but I'll contact the panel chair to find out where I can improve . Take it from perfectionist OCD mommy here. Ironically, at other times, the brave decision is to actually pull back. We parents are bombarded by therapists of every kind - well-educated, well-intentioned people who sincerely want to help our kids be the best they can be. And, of course, each and every specialist feels that her arena is the most important. But occupational therapy (OT), speech therapy, play therapy, psychology, applied behavior analysis (ABA), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), oxygen chambers, nutritional changes, social skills groups, animal therapy, music therapy, vision therapy, listening therapy, and a cadre of academic tutors cannot all feasibly be most important. One of the most common questions I'm asked by other parents is which service is the most important, and which can be dropped from the overstressed kid, schedule, pocketarticle, and family life? The honest answer is that there is no answer. I have found that at various times, OT took precedence for one child while talk therapy (with a psychologist) was most important for another. Like a triage team on perpetual duty, we Asper-parents face a lifetime of perpetual choices between which needs are the most pronounced at present, and which can be put off for a while. Women know that from the moment a pregnancy is announced, everyone has an opinion about something - including strangers on the street. Willingness, like courage, originates from the three-pound (or so) lump of corrugated flesh that we call our brain. We have been given a brain; Willingness and repetition work hand in hand to create the full expression of the pose you wish to succeed in. But we must, at the same time, pause and not get too carried away with ourselves. Our commitment can also become food for our ego. We must learn to nurture our discipline so as to not let it mutate into an uncontrollable desire. We must learn and understand the difference between desire and discipline. Maybe the best way to learn this is through our own journeys and experience. So maybe there should be some desire or else how can one overcome something they know nothing about?

Maybe the path to discipline is through the painful path of desire? GADGETS, GIZMOS AND THE WORLD WIDE WEB For most of the life of sleep medicine, gadgets and gizmos have been the province of research laboratories and sleep centres (see pp. Now, versions of these technologies are available for us to download or to buy and use in the home. Devices are broadly those that track your sleep (trackers), help you get to sleep (mollifiers) and wake you up (grizzlies). Internet websites can provide a personalized sleep service to help you to monitor your sleep and find advice that's unique to your own sleep situation. SLEEP THERAPY COOL VALERIAN ROOT INFUSION Use the following recipe to make a valerian root infusion. However, please check with a qualified herbalist that the herb is not contraindicated for you first. Have one cup of the infusion as part of your pre-sleep routine every night for up to six weeks. I can't help it. I've always had a really short fuse . I can keep my cool in certain circumstances; I'm sure I can learn strategies to do this more often. It's hopeless. What's the point? That certainly didn't go as planned. Let's sit down and learn from our mistakes so it doesn't happen again . Think about famous athletes hitting rock bottom after retirement, the countless examples of people winning the lottery and being broke only a few years later, or the cases of relapsing substance abuse.

These are all examples of people who don't grow and evolve their identity as the climate changes around them. The same is true in the world of autism/Asperger's. What is miraculously potent for one child may be completely ineffective for another, and conversations about said intervention will go on ad nauseam. The point is that there is no right answer. There is each parent's right answer, right now. It takes great courage to honor that place of trusting your gut, and this really must be respected as one of the few ways we Asper-parents have any sense of control. And please don't hide those big, fat feelings from your Asperkids, lest they blame themselves. Admit that even moms, dads, and teachers don't have all the answers. What we must have, though, is love and acceptance big enough for both of us, adult and child. Once someone becomes a parent, her life is no longer her own entirely. But for most folks, there are breaks - getaways with friends, date nights with a spouse, maybe just dinner at a neighborhood pub. Thus, I am not going to tell you to not desire and to not crave advanced poses. After thinking about it, I have realised that I actually encourage it. This is our greatest learning tool. We learn more about ourselves and the philosophy of yoga while battling with desire and discipline than we will ever learn from reading a article or from a `wise' yoga teacher. So `desire' away. Experience desire and learn from it as have I and have all the other teachers who have advanced in their practice. But consider some words of wisdom as well. A very wise man once said that the three greatest treasures for man are simplicity, patience and compassion. No, that wise man was not me, but Lao Tzu.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu continues, Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Break for two weeks, then resume for up to another six weeks if necessary. Crush 1 tsp of valerian root in a pestle and mortar and soak it in one cup of cool, filtered water for up to 24 hours. Strain the infusion and drink cold. These range from those that are essentially simple diaries, recording the time you go to sleep and wake up, and asking for information about the quality of your sleep; Many trackers are available as straightforward smartphone apps, and many are free to download. Inevitably, some are more useful than others, but generally I recommend those that disconnect your phone from the network and shut down your connection to your Wi-Fi during the night. In this way you can make sure that you won't be disturbed by late-night communications, but you can still use all the features of the app. Somewhere between these simple apps and the Zeo lie trackers that measure your movement during sleep and match that to the phases of sleep. An accelerometer built into the app means that, once downloaded, the app allows your smartphone to monitor how much you're moving about during the night and also works out when, once you've had your sleep quota, you're in the lightest phase of sleep so that you can wake feeling most refreshed. If you don't have a smartphone, you can find similar devices that you wear on your wrist. If you believe you're just a [insert label], it's highly likely that's all you ever will be. Stepping into your new identity isn't about severing all ties with who you were in the past or turning your back on who you've been. It's your previous experience that shapes who you are now and the path you've found yourself on. Ignoring that does disservice to your present -- it's like cutting off a limb and pretending nothing happened. Your focus is not on developing a brand new identity, but expanding your identity. Say `thank you' to who you've been and what it's taught you as you welcome in the new you. Be present to this expanding identity and all its facets, notice the doubts as they arise and step into a growth mindset to expand what is possible for you. It's time to surprise even yourself. Fear -- can it be your friend?

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Will the blush still remain

Alternatively, it won't benefit you to be a fearful whirlwind of unrest trying to save civilization. And my heart would sink. The towels were surrounded by itchy grass or hot pavement. The bathrooms were echoing and slick. I didn't have friends there, and I couldn't just join in with some group of strangers. What the heck was I supposed to do, exactly? I was self-conscious and clueless as to where she wanted me to go, and had a million examples already in my mind of messing up socially - why put myself in harm's way again? The worst part was, though, that I took her dismissal as rejection. In my mind, even my mom didn't want me. Without a plan, I'd either head to the playground alone or sit beside her and read - which she said looked weird. And though she couldn't know, those words hurt more than anything else. Think again of your yoga poses, you do your part, and science will take care of the rest. It is just like one plus one equals two. The science is that exact. This is the basic and most fascinating economics of yoga. As my Laura pointed out, this is perhaps what Pathabi Jois was saying when he famously said, Practice and all is coming. Along these lines, Aristotle once said, For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. This means that with regular practice, through repetition, the body will adapt. This is science. Be patient and trust in the process.

If the science of movement can help those who have suffered brain damage from a stroke, then the science of movement and repetition can definitely help you. Sleep centres are special clinics where experts can diagnose and treat sleep disorders. They are, in many countries, connected to hospital respiratory departments. This is because sleep apnoea (see pp. These centres concentrate on measuring the airflow through your nose, breathing effort and blood-oxygen levels. However, throughout the world, there are also now clinics specifically intended for dealing with the full spectrum of sleep disorders. A sleep centre might be suitable for you if: What happens at a sleep centre? A sleep centre will almost certainly send you a sleep diary (see pp. What happens next depends on specialist analysis of your diary and your questionnaire answers. This monitors your levels of activity and rest over the course of 24 hours. This will impede your mission. Therefore each of us must put our own emotional house in order. Our world is in the midst of a quickening. It feels like time has accelerated, that the years keep flitting by faster and faster. This quickening, however, involves more than simply our altered perception of time as we age, our frantic culture, or anxiety about fulfilling our goals in life. The Hopis say our world is sick and needs to get well. To prevent what geo-biologists call the sixth great extinction of earth's species (akin to the disappearance of the dinosaurs), we urgently need to save the planet as well as our souls. Throughout history, human nature seems impelled toward turmoil, just as children by a tranquil lake will inevitably throw pebbles into the water to disrupt the calm. Even so, I have faith that with mindfulness more enduring peace is possible.

Who knows the Lords of Peace better than an awakened heart? Feeling that we have let down our parents is a pain anyone can understand. But feeling that one's innate self is a let-down just slays you. To be truthful, a lifetime of comments between then and now in which people I loved harshly criticized my social skills (with good intentions) has often brought that sense of rejection to bear. In her own way, my mom was trying to tell me that I was messing up. She made up stories with my Cabbage Patch Kids in which the redhead was a bossy smarty-pants whom no one really liked; Did I mention my mom was blonde? I know that her intent was to try to show why one personality was better received than the other. And I know that she really never gave thought to my misery at the pool - she just wanted some (well-deserved) time with adults. At the time, though, I couldn't see her perspective, and she didn't explain it to me. Everyone was expecting everyone else to read minds, and no one succeeded. Many decades ago, the prevailing thought was that the brain's movement pattern was unalterable like the earth's orbit. We now know that is no longer accurate. Due to the stunning power of neuroplasticity, the brain can indeed be altered, retuned and rewire. It can activate wires that have been long shut down and run new wiring like an electrician8. There is a tremendous amount of plasticity and malleability in the adult brain9. Much more so than we realise. I have a client in her 60s who is learning patterns of movement in yoga she never believed was possible. This is yet another example of a mini moment of enlightenment. The brain does not just change and adapt to new movement, it can also change as a result of the thoughts we have.

The brain can be altered by pure mental activity. This is the main diagnostic tool at all sleep centres and will require you to stay overnight at the centre (see below). Monitoring your sleep at a sleep centre At a sleep centre you'll be given a room and connected up to wiring that will measure your sleep. Many people worry that they won't actually be able to sleep in these clinical conditions. However, with so much excessive sleepiness already clocked up, and the security of knowing that you're in the process of finding out what's going on so that you can finally take control of your sleep, you'll probably have one of the best nights you've had in a long time. Certainly, in most cases, sleep at a sleep centre is no worse than it is at home. Overnight monitoring involves three sets of basic wiring. First, you'll need to have multiple electrodes (each smaller than a penny) glued to your face and scalp. These measure your brainwaves, eye movements and chin-muscle tone (during dreaming sleep the chin muscles become active). They provide all the information a sleep expert needs to map your journey through sleep's main stages. We're at a crossroads with choices to be made. We can ride the momentum of this quickening either to the depths of our love or to the edge of oblivion. Gone is the luxury of a middle ground. We need prophets who aren't afraid to speak out. It behooves us to heed Albert Einstein's admonition: I don't know what weapons World War III will be fought with. But World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. Emotional freedom tilts the tipping point toward goodness. It allows us to experience inner peace so that outer peace can prosper. Observing the world is the fascination of my life and profession.

I am drawn to penetrate to the center of things. One day after school during the year I was in ninth grade, my social studies teacher spied me walking outside with some other students. He hollered across the campus lawn, Oh, Miss Cook! I didn't realize you had friends! Was that supposed to help? Though things had turned around socially in just a year or two, when my friends were out of town on a class trip, I wouldn't chance a trip to the lunch room. The words of all those years took their toll, so I chose to eat my lunch alone, at the edge of the woods outside the high school. Odds are that I would've been welcome at another table quite readily. But in my mind, I was still that kid being called out by a teacher or spurned at the pool. And later, I got hit. By the time I'd grown into the alluring redhead, pretty and popular years later, I also had it in my head that I was difficult to love, that I should be grateful for whoever took me on. So, we can make our brains stronger and more efficient by creating positive thoughts and intentions10. As corny as it is to me, when a yoga teacher starts the class and asks us to set an intention, maybe they are on to something. Thus, the more repetition of a particular action (like the handstand, triangle, walking after rehab and so on), the more of the brain's real estate is zoned for that movement. If a movement is ingrained into the brain, it becomes second nature. There is a lot of evidence that shows how dynamic the brain is - more so than we ever realised11. The brain is constantly remodeling itself in response to an experience and repetition. Just be patient. Let us further examine the handstand. No other pose replicates the handstand in terms of the way it makes you feel - the negative emotions while trying and failing and then the positive emotions when you are successful.

Friday, 7 August 2020

There's a dream where the contents are visible

Strength and flexibility play a much smaller role in this pose than people realise. That's right. Now envision yourself leaning back--like you're doing a trust fall off a picnic table and falling back into a heavenly cloud. This cloud feels so supportive . And it gently lulls your soul down 12 floors. It's almost as if this cloud is taking you away from this earthly world for a moment and toward a deeper and more spiritual existence. Floating down . Drifting down now . As this heavenly cloud takes you down to a place that's infinitely safe and supremely supportive . That's right . You can see it, can't you? One afternoon a friend and I were relaxing by the hotel pool during a break at a conference. Having forgotten my sunglasses, I was shielding my eyes from the sun with a piece of paper. When he reached over to hold it for me I resisted, but he just smiled, saying with absolute assurance, I can handle this. Talk about hearing the dream words you'd always yearned for. This friend, a psychologist with keen insight into human nature, had my number. I was so used--too used--to doing everything myself, wary that well-meaning others will only cause me more work. His competent, consoling gesture conveyed such empathy for my reluctance to accept help and actually trust that someone could make my life easier without having to ask. I was touched that he recognized and honored this vulnerability in me. Compassion also provides the crucible for healing miracles to occur.

One of my workshop participants told the following story. Not all of these songs are particularly about death but they are excellent songs anyway. If ever there is a need for a compilation CD of greatest death-related songs I would be happy to compile it and write the sleeve notes. Just saying.I guess that means we Aspies have a lot of living to do. It Depends On Where You're Standing Perspectives on Comfort Zones Have you ever read C. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew (1955)? I mean, most folks know about Narnia, and the tales of the kids through the wardrobe. But are you familiar with the lesser known prequels? They put everything to come in motion and perspective - explaining the magic and the allegorical adventures ahead. This pose is about self-exploration and really digging in until you discover that mini moment of enlightenment. When you discover that moment in a class, you will look at me with pure animation. A big cheesy grin will be plastered across your face, and your eyes will be as big as your chakras. It is that look that I see so often when I teach that makes teaching yoga so rewarding. That look tells me that you may not be able to do the pose as well as you would like, but you fully understand the theory behind what you are attempting, and you even felt that centre of gravity while you were upside down - even if it was for split second. Disciple: So all that is required to do my handstand is balance? Understanding the idea of balancing opposite sides of the body is the foundation for your handstand. Something else that we need to understand is the concept of muscle memory. The muscles that are required to work in handstand will adapt, over time, to the demand being placed on them.

Through repetition, the right and left sides as well as the front and back of the body will sync and work together to create the pose. And now, as I count from one to seven . If you'd like, you can even have a brief out-of-body experience where earthly time and space float away for the brief time of this practice. Your soul will come easily back down into the body, into earthly time, at the end of this practice because you're not done here . But even so, I'd imagine it'd be so soothing to have a glimpse. Of your spirit . Counting now. And now invite the subconscious and perhaps even your soul . I don't know where you'll go today. Perhaps it's back to a time when you were still wide-eyed and innocent, ready to change the world. Did you forget that you still have that innocent little girl or boy inside of you? Two years before, she'd longed to get pregnant but she had a rare, serious type of kidney disease. Her doctor warned that pregnancy would overly stress her body, even endanger her life. Still, this woman's desire for a baby was so strong she decided to risk it. Fortunately, she stayed well those nine months and her disease stabilized, which isn't typical during pregnancy--a great relief to her, her husband, and the doctor. However, in that same period, her young golden retriever, her constant companion and soul mate with whom she was so attuned, was diagnosed with kidney failure. Soon after the birth of her daughter, this loving animal died, as if having held on just long enough to see her through. Though cynics would dismiss as mere coincidence the fact that both contracted the same rare disease--especially when the dog had been perfectly healthy--I read this quite differently. For me, it seems rather to be a moving reminder of the interconnectedness of our hearts and the power of compassion. There was a special love between this woman and her dog.

Could it be possible for one life to so empathize with another that it can sense and even assume illness? As in most of life, there's more to the story than we think we know. That is the power of perspective. It tags question marks where we think there are periods, undoes absolutes. As Lewis put it perfectly, what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are (Lewis 1955, p. And if you are an Aspie sort of person, your perspective is generally a little bit different. I got glasses when I was seven years old. A routine physical had shown that I was quite significantly nearsighted, yet my parents hadn't noticed, and neither had I. In retrospect, I thought I could see as far as everyone else could. Apparently, that wasn't the case. Double-checking the doctor's exam, my mom tested me herself at, of all places, a Disney on Ice show. This creates a balance between the opposites. Still using handstand as an example, it requires conscious muscle movement and muscle activation to attempt and create the pose. But with time and practice, the handstand movement will become an unconscious movement. To rephrase, initially, the pose requires lots of thought, focus and awareness, but with practice, none of this is required. The pose then happens almost automatically. Disciple: How is that exactly? Picture my Laura doing a handstand. I am reliably informed that she was not born like this. She had to create a memory of the handstand movement within her brain before she could do the pose so effortlessly.

This is similar to learning how to walk or ride a bike. He or she is still right here . Maybe you can imagine that you are there, watching your childhood as a spectator. Or if you believe in destiny, imagine you're there before this earthly time existed . Either way, you can now see exactly what gifts and talents you were given, can't you? I wonder how you were meant to develop these gifts to better the world. Have you forgotten how inherently worthy you are? Some part of you knows that, doesn't it? Or do you need to go back and have a conversation with someone who has passed? Perhaps you can imagine your old self having a conversation with God or a higher power or your highest self. What path would have been different? Certainly it's something to contemplate. As a physician, I know that love can create miracles that defy logical explanation. Selfless giving resonates with such mystery. How wondrous and far-reaching compassion can be among all living beings. Each of us is capable of limitless love. The monumental implications of this fact continue to reveal themselves over the years, always giving me chills and reclarifying my emotional priorities. It's been said that when people stop performing random acts of kindness, the net that holds the world together will fall apart. Woe is that day when our compassion ceases, when anger has no means of being counteracted. Instead, together we can cultivate compassion's bounty and rejoice in each other.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

With eyes that shine

This may have involved borrowing or taking ideas from wrestling and or gymnastics or perhaps the physical yoga poses that already existed where given a new lease of life or a more modern interpretation. As for how these more modern day (non-seated) yoga poses developed - An 1899 article Anatomy of a contortionist shows what would many years later, become yoga poses (including foot behind the head pose, chin stand and hanuman splits)1. How or who merged these exercises or movements into the existing yoga poses handarticle is anyone's guess. Scandinavian gymnastics was also a huge influence in what we know of today as the modern yoga poses. A 1944 Danish text shows what would later become the Warrior poses, downward facing dog and the reclining thunderbolt pose2. Traditional Indian dance and Indian wrestling was also hugely influential in yoga adapting and becoming more popular. From the 1850s onwards, a culture of physical exercise developed in India to counter the colonial stereotype of supposed degeneracy of Indians compared to the British3. Almost there, as you step down into the next room. Isn't it so nice to know that you've already tapped into this feedback loop of healing? Stepping down into the next room. You may notice a pleasant, dreamlike state come to you--now or at some point in this journey. Isn't it wonderful to know that any sort of dreamy feeling you notice means the mindbody is at already at work? Almost there now. That's right. You're doing so wonderfully already . Next-to-last room. Feeling twice or maybe even three times as comfortable, calm, and carefree as you were on the floor before. Start with someone low on your list, not your rageaholic father. Then you can get a taste of forgiveness quickly. After that you can proceed to tackle more challenging targets.

Honestly address your feelings. Talk to friends, your therapist, or other supportive people, but get the anger out. I also recommend writing your feelings down in a journal to purge negativity. Then decide whether you want to raise the issue with that person. If so, use the Rules for Compassionate Communication, presented later in this article. Begin to forgive. Hold the person you're angry with clearly in your mind's eye. It is a euphemism for ending one's own life. My wife and I glibly state that, when the time comes and the burden of disease becomes too great, and while we are mentally capable, one freezing night one of us might head off into the woods with a bottle of that very fine single-malt whisky. Our frozen body will be found a few days later beside the empty bottle, the contents having vasodilated us into a drunken stupor and hypothermia. I noted when reading Paul Kalanithi's memoir When Breath Becomes Air that he was drinking Ardbeg in his last few days. It seems to be the whisky of choice for those in the departure lounge of life. My parents thought they had their own solution, proudly displaying their DNAR forms on the hall dresser in the belief that this was the end of the matter, no doubt very impressed with their own modern thinking. DNAR is just the beginning, and the easy bit. CPR, as we have seen, is hardly ever successful outside hospital and only works with those patients who have a treatable cardiac condition. It does not work for a heart that has stopped at the end of a series of illnesses and general decline, which is the way of most deaths now. DNAR, SchNAR. Physical fitness was not just an Indian fascination, in early 1900 the fame of the bodybuilder Eugene Sandow (1867-1925) also made it internationally, very much in vogue to look after one's physical appearance. It is said that Sandow deserves the credit for the international craze for physical fitness. In his article;

Sandow visited India in 1905 and made such a wave with his physique and popularity, being referred to as the `fakir of physical culture', that physical yoga borrowed many of Sandow's exercises and routines. Much of Sandow's influence owes to his approach. Rather than play up the gritty iron side of weightlifting, Sandow presented his approach to Calcutta as a kind of `meditation with muscles'. In a Bengali newspaper, Sandow said; It is the cooperation of the mind with the body that makes the system so unique and explains the great results which have been attained4. This boom in the physical culture is perhaps the key reason why you and I are so fascinated in yoga today. Some poses such as `bridge' and `wheel' may also be, dare I say it, `inspired' by the Kama Sutra. Notice now, where in your body do you feel the most relaxed? Is there a part of the body that feels particularly comfortable? If you'd like, allow that relaxation to spread over the rest of you--visualizing yourself moving it over the organ, cells, or system you'd like to optimize. Take all the time you'd like here to enjoy this type of experience you're feeling now. That's right. Now that you've felt the body make its way down through these rooms into this healing temple or spa you've pictured for yourself, you've probably noticed the brain begin to slow itself down into a calm state of healing, which, as you know, is enhancing the two-way feedback loop of healing. In just a moment, you'll feel the body start to float upward as your consciousness begins to expand and I count up from one to seven. As these two things happen--body floating and consciousness expanding--you may notice an even deeper sense of carefree comfort and calmness. And many people notice how nice it feels when the body floats. I wonder if you'll notice that it begins to transform sensations. Then ask yourself, What emotional shortcomings caused him or her to treat me poorly? This is what you want to have compassion for, the area to forgive. Definitely do everything possible not to subject yourself to shabby treatment, but reach for compassion for the person's emotional blindness or cold heart.

Forgiveness from hurt flows from this. Here are a few suggestions of how forgiveness can work in a range of situations where you'd have every right to be angry. It establishes a kinder mind-set whether or not you decide to confront someone. A good friend acts inconsiderately when she's having a bad day. Remember, nobody's perfect. You may want to let the incident slide. If you do mention it, don't make this onetime slight into a big deal. It's not the issue. Move on already. After Dad's death we found letters addressed to each of his children. My heart sank. Dad was always a man of letters, particularly letters to the dying. When my brother-in-law Tom's father had a massive stroke and was unable to speak but could understand the spoken word, a long letter of comfort was produced by Dad, outlining his belief in an afterlife. To Dad, heaven was a place full of beautiful golf courses, and this was one of his fairway-to-heaven missives. As if the dying don't have enough to bear. It turned out, to my relief, that the letter to me was benign and loving, with a kind word for everyone and assurances of the pride he had in his children. This did a lot to offset the demented ramblings of the previous year, when he had developed some strange ideas about the `gene pool' and had me planning to siphon off his money for my own family. There is a position called the turning posture and chakra asana (wheel pose). These sexual positions are paintings found on the exterior of many temples in India. This particular one that may have inspired wheel pose (or upward facing bow pose), is called `the wheel posture' and is from a 19th century painting in Nepal5.

I have heard it be said that the Kama Sutra inspired various yoga poses but it could also easily be the other way around. Are the modern-day yoga poses, the same poses from all those thousands of years ago? Like I said previously, chances are slim. But this does not mean they are all modern inventions. Maybe the poses have just evolved like so much of the Indian culture has. Perhaps being an adaptive culture is what defines yoga tradition. Change is reflective of the modern period of life and sometimes, your need to adapt is what ignites your imagination and creativity. As the body floats, many people also notice it feels warm--as if you're taking a warm bath or you're floating in the ocean on a spring day. Or perhaps it's as if you're falling into a cloud, and that cloud is surrounding you like a blanket. As you practice this more, you may even find that you lose a sense of time and space. You may even find that--if you'd like--you can create a sense of leaving the physical body for this healing time you've given yourself. If that feels comfortable for you, you may wish to see your consciousness actually leaving the physical body as a momentary kind of out-of-body experience. If you'd like, for the purposes of this visualization, you can see your consciousness moving upward toward the sky and leaving the physical body as it floats up like a cloud. Your consciousness will return--ever so easily--to your physical body by the end of this practice or at any point during it. Counting now: Body floating . Consciousness moving upward and expanding so that it's now larger than the body. Give your friend a break--forgive the lapse. Your teenager keeps screaming at you and treats you disrespectfully. Set consistent, appropriate limits on the behavior;

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Towards the One

Both systems of yoga, the Iyengar method and the Ashtanga Vinyasa method are both essentially hatha yoga with different interpretations. They both have great emphasis on bodily postures and the same ideology that suffering can be reduced or even removed by exercising the physical body and keeping it active. The hypnosedation group experienced less inflammation, less post-operative pain, and less post-operative fatigue than the general anesthesia group. Breast cancer survivor Kelly Painter entered a newer trial using hypnosedation at MD Anderson Cancer Center to have her tumor surgically removed in 2017. She reported, It took a little longer than a traditional surgery because they had to numb the area with lidocaine. But even so, I was in the operating room at 8:30 A. I never even really felt hypnotized, and the worst pain I felt was a little pinch. It was mostly just pressure. And I didn't have to take any pain medicine afterward. Or consider something as common as painful menstrual cramps. One study randomly divided 50 nursing students with painful cramps into two groups. One received ibuprofen for three menstrual cycles and then no medication for the following three cycles. Still, there was a niggling, unsure part of me that said, Maybe I am doing something provocative. And I wanted the relationship to work. So I continued trying to modify my wardrobe and limit physical contact with men, hoping against hope this would solve the problem. There was so much incredible about this man, I didn't want to lose him. I struggled with the questions How much do you work on a relationship? And when is enough enough? But finally, predictably, his relentless suspicions destroyed us. They prevented him from trusting me enough to fully commit.

Also, I was plum tuckered out from being treated like Othello's Desdemona, a woman who was falsely accused. So, with great anguish, we parted. Although the cold weather doesn't help, it isn't solely responsible: Australia has similar problems after Christmas, and it's the middle of summer there. Such is the impact of the loss of a week or so of community services to the holidays. In an NHS hospital an empty bed remains empty for barely a nanosecond. Scans and a biopsy confirmed that the cancer had spread. An oncology opinion was sought. The options were limited, but Joyce did not want to be `messed around' in any case. Declining treatment, she deteriorated over the next few weeks and died at the local hospice. At her funeral I spoke of what an influence she had been on me. Not through great words of wisdom or high achievement, but through her strength to live her life the way she wanted. Hers was an unselfish life, devoted to her daughter and grandchildren. Both systems also believe that in order to have strength in the mind, one must have strength in the body. The physical body is understood as being a temple where your soul resides. So nothing spiritual can be gained unless the physical body is first attended to. A huge priority is placed on our bodies by both systems, which was not really emphasised before. It existed before 1920 but not with the same importance as it does now. Most modern yoga teachers teach a hybrid of the Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa system (almost unknowingly sometimes). They are essentially the original schools of modern physical yoga. Everything you see today has been influenced in some manner by them.

So, as a brief summary, yoga was created by Shiva 12,000 years ago (culturally speaking) and then defined by Patanjali some 2,000 years ago (as the stillness of the mind). It was then given a different dimension by the great Gorakhnath around 1,000 years ago. The second group received hypnosis. Not surprisingly, the medication group only experienced pain relief for the three cycles when they took the ibuprofen and had no significant pain reduction for the following three cycles. The hypnosis group experienced a significant reduction in pain for all six cycles. If there were no alternative for someone in pain, the risk may warrant the benefit. But this study shows that a risk-free alternative does exist, and it uses your subconscious brain. INTEGRATIVE VISUALIZATION When it comes to cancer, autoimmune conditions, chronic pain, and elusive conditions, throwing a bunch of prescription pain pills at someone is like throwing water on a grease fire. So it's important to integrate SVT into a holistic treatment plan. As you already know, SVT incorporates many strategies, including CBT, mindfulness, hypnosis, bilateral stimulation, and guided visualization, into one easy-to-use, at-home tool. If your well-being is at stake, it may also mean pulling out all the stops. It took a long time for my heart to recover. Well-meaning friends came to my rescue, saying things like What a shame he wouldn't go into couples therapy and How sad he couldn't deal with his jealousy. For me, it was certainly a shame and sad. But now, having had time to reflect, I believe, more than ever, that everyone has the inalienable right to deal with dark emotions, or not. At this stage in his life, apparently, it wasn't this man's path. To him, it wasn't sad at all that he didn't face his dark side. As an environmentalist, he felt he had other worthy work to which he was devoted. Still, I got a good chuckle when my friend Berenice, a psychotherapist, and I joked: In his next life, poor guy, he'll be reincarnated as a therapist.

Then he'll have to deal with emotions! Still, I see jealousy as shackling his heart. There was no fuss or drama, no manipulation or attention-seeking. Joyce died an unselfish death while she was still useful to others and still very much loved. It's a death I aspire to. We can no more choose the illness that carries us off than control the weather. But we can resist treatments that may have little benefit other than prolonging our own suffering and the distress of our children. Such decisions require courage. There is a part of me that believes future generations will look back at some cancer treatments used in the opening decades of the third millennium with the same bewilderment we feel when contemplating the common treatments from the eighteenth century. Wafer-Thin Margins and Modern Medicine The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam For most of history medicine was just someone's opinion and was as useful as any other human opinion unsupported by evidence. It was then made popular by Krishnamacharya between 1920 and 1940 with a much greater emphasis on the physical body and yoga postures/asanas. It was finally refined and redefined by the late great B. S Iyengar in the 1960s. Additional teachers who have paved the way for teachers like us include the inspiring Indra Devi (1899-2002), who was an ex-dancer of Russian decent and the first foreign female student of Krishnamacharya studying alongside B. S Iyengar and Pathabhi Jois. Indra Devi was instrumental in creating the worldwide appeal of physical yoga, having taught the first ever physical yoga class in China in 1939. Indra Devi once said, Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness11.

V Desikachar (1938-2016, Krishnamacharya's grandson) developed viniyoga (a more individual-adaptive form of yoga rather than a class-led one). On the subject of yoga, Desikachar has said, Yoga is a mystery. Cut gluten or dairy. Limit your toxin exposure, especially if environmental toxins have triggered an autoimmune condition. Pairing a liposomal glutathione supplement with SVT is just one example of a strategy that may be used for detoxification. If the brain is damaged from injury or stroke, hydrogen can be used to help in the healing process. A far infrared sauna is another evidence-based, drug-free possibility that I frequently recommend. They improve the quality of life for those with diabetes,8 and just eight sessions of side effect-free infrared sauna also led to a clinically significant reduction in pain and stiffness in people living with rheumatoid arthritis. Tests & Tools I also recommend the latest in evidence-based care, including genetic testing and a neurotransmitter panel, to determine what may be causing or exacerbating an elusive condition or chronic pain. Genetic testing is empowering. You may have inherited an inability to convert certain B vitamin precursors into the forms usable by the brain and body. This relationship taught me more about jealousy than I'd ever thought I'd learn. Grueling as it was, the fact is, I'm grateful for what I experienced and was able to take from it. Even for the most ingenious mental health practitioner, delusional jealousy is difficult to treat. Patients must want to change--rare because, like all card-carrying delusionals, they believe their perceptions are valid. But even if they desire help, it's still hard. The problem, as I see it, is that this kind of jealousy is largely based on a disowned projection rather than solely low self-esteem: sufferers project onto mates what they themselves want to do, such as being flirtatious or promiscuous. Because they either have a basic inability to be self-aware or find owning the projection too painful, their delusion holds on. Treatments with partial success include antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychoanalysis, and behavioral therapies to reprogram responses to jealousy.