Is Worry Holding You Down?

My husband and I love the Baja Peninsula visiting it frequently over the past few years. On September 14, 2014, Hurricane Odile hit. With no phone or internet service it was days and in one case a week before we heard from our friends who live there. Without communication, I became obsessed with any reports I could get from the area. I looked at photos of damage. I worried about the lack of food, water, and electricity. I concerned over my friends safety as desperation looting began. That week I was also hit with a massive cold.

Mike and Tori's House after Hurricane Odile
Mike and Tori’s House after Hurricane Odile

You see worry was holding me down. Every time I wondered where they were and if they were safe, it hit my immune system. Every time I looked at a report with the damage, it brought down my positive attitude. The result is my feeling poorly physically and mentally. The entire week I was out of sorts and unproductive. And most importantly, this attitude did nothing for my friends.

A better choice in this situation would have been every time the hurricane and my friends came to mind, to take a moment and surround them with love and protection. Instead of thoughts of what if and worst case scenario, I could have imagined them safe. These thoughts would have kept me centered and in a space to look for ways to support my friends as well as maintaining my normal weekly necessities. The positive energy being sent through the airwaves would have also positively affected all those in the wake of the hurricane.

As you go through your day, where are you experiencing worry? Instead of dragging yourself into the negative, what happens if you stop to take a moment to surround all those involved with love and hope? How does it change your mood? How does it change your outlook? How does it change how you address and handle the difficult situation?

If you would like to help those recovering from the hurricane, here are a few sources.

Cabo Relief Fund

Feeding Los Cabos Kids

Water Filter Distribution

Los Cabos Humane Society

Melissa Heisler

“From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” Helps Improve Health and Provide Tools for Surviving a Challenging Job

New book is a powerful framework for reducing stress, improving well-being, increasing mental clarity, dealing with difficult people and facing challenging workplaces

CHICAGO (May 14, 2014) – After 10 years in the world of theater followed by nearly 20 years in senior corporate marketing positions, the stress of deadline-driven jobs led to author and speaker Melissa Heisler’s own mental and physical ill health. A trip to Peru awakened her to an understanding there was no outside reason for her pain – she was causing the pain she experienced. This awakening is not the end of her story but the beginning of her search for long-lasting means to manage the stress in her life. This journey is the foundation for her new book “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction.”

This no-nonsense, practical book provides a customizable framework to help readers reduce the level of their current stress and limit the amount of future stress. Heisler believes stress does not need to be part of human lives and she aims to help readers learn how to reduce its impact using tools including the Type-ME Habits of Awareness, Acceptance, Alternatives and Action.

“The American Psychological Association has reported that 77% of adults in the United States population are regularly experiencing physical symptoms due to stress. There is an enormous need to make significant changes to the level of stress experienced on a daily basis to improve not only physical health, but the quality of relationships, work and life in general,” said Heisler. “Through my own experience and those of my clients I know this stress can be reduced by empowering readers to change their lives through daily applications of the tools presented in my book.”

Heisler has launched a crowd-funding campaign to support editing, designing, producing and publishing the final manuscript. Of the total funds raised, 10% will be donated to the Pubslush Foundation for Literacy. The funding budget for this project has been fixed at $10,000.

To learn more, visit the “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” Project Page: http://ww.BeTypeME.com  

 

ABOUT MELISSA HEISLER

Melissa Heisler is a stress reduction expert, speaker, author, and show host. She speaks to groups including Fortune 10 companies on stress reduction and the myth of work-life balance. Heisler hosts The Empowerment Show with guest experts in health, business, career, spirituality, and women’s issues. She is a contributing author for the books, “Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World” and “Defining Moments: A Gathering of Women’s Journeys.” Her first solo book, “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” and her contribution to “Experiences of the Light” (Career Press / New Page Books) will both be published in 2014.

“Smart, loving, and clear-sighted, Melissa is just the coach to help you repair your own life and soul, so that you can help others without burning out.” – Martha Beck (Bestselling author of 6 books, columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine, and named one of the best known life coaches in America” by NPR, USA Today, and Psychology Today.)

Fear

I like to think I am fearless, and in many ways I am. But in some ways I am not. One of the most noticeable ways is in regards to my business. I fear not having enough income to pay my bills. I fear I will not be able to make the business what I want it to be. I fear that I made a mistake making my passion and purpose my business. The problem is when I listen to my fears and believe them I make bad choices. If I believe I won’t have sufficient income, I feel it is hopeless therefore I am unmotivated to attract new clients or attend networking events. If I fear my business won’t be what I want it to be, I am constantly looking for proof of this and pull myself into a depression. If I fear my purpose is not meant to be my business, I am constantly distracted by other potential ways to bring in money. My fears then become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Yet fears in themselves are NOT reality. Fears are only real if we believe them and act as if they are already fulfilled. The answer is to see fears as beliefs and not reality. Fears are expectations we move and act upon because we believe them to be our fate. Our fearful beliefs and expectations are only thoughts. The simple and difficult way to move forward fearlessly in our lives is to release our negative beliefs and expectations.

PanamaRecently I was able to do just this on our trip to Panama. I had a fear of returning our rental car late. I feared my unexercised winter legs would not make it to the top of Cerro Ancón. I had a fear I could not stay afloat in the ocean. One by one I released these thoughts and amazingly found the power to move forward. In doing so, I also found new options and opportunities which had been blocked by my focus on fear.

One of the biggest fears this Recovering Type-A released, even before we left for our trip, was not having all of our hotels booked ahead of time. We were leaving for a country we never visited before where we did not speak the local language fluently and were going into cities we could find little information about. I released the fear we would be sleeping in our rental car and trusted. Had I not let go of the fear, my Type-A would have taken over and booked a hotel in Las Tables where I thought I wanted to go. As it turns out it is a really neat town – for a few hours. Had I booked two nights there it would have been less than desirable. In letting go however, things turned out better than I could have ever planned. Between the recommendation from the proprietor of our first hotel, La Estancia, and the assistance of a LinkedIn buddy from Try Panama, we stayed at a secluded beachfront hotel and a posh resort which were both available and within our budget. There was no hassle or any real effort on my husband’s or my part. We just needed to make our needs known and accept the great gifts given to us.

PanamaThis experience helped me see and release the other fears which came up on our trip. I knew and trusted that releasing my fears allowed new, better, brilliant opportunities to arrive.

What are your current fears?

Do you have fears around paying bills? Around your or your loved ones heath? Do you have fears about some seemingly unattainable future goal? Look at the fear. Is there any substantial proof it will absolutely 100% occur as you fear? If not, let it go. Then feel the pressure and anxiety lift as you release what is not fated to be. Feel your power return. Feel your joy. Then keep your mind clear and take baby step after baby step toward what you want. You will be amazed by what happens – for the better – and without any major planning or substantial effort of your own.

Melissa Heisler

Hiding Not Seeking

Caffeine has always been my constant companion. In my younger years, caffeine came in the form of Mountain Dew. When I entered the workforce, my caffeine delivery system became coffee. As energy drinks entered the marketplace, Monster became my drink of choice. The thing is, caffeine is not good for me. I have known for a while and recently had a doctor prove it. And yet, I didn’t stop putting caffeine in my system.

Have you ever had a habit you wanted to break but didn’t have the motivation to do so? Or if you could break it, the habit would come back? The problem may not be willpower. The problem may be that you are treating the symptom not the cause.

Melissa Heisler
Melissa Heisler

When I was drinking coffee, I didn’t like the taste of every cup and I hated how it discolored my teeth. Yet I would drink cup after cup. If I had a Monster or two, I would have the shakes and couldn’t concentrate. Yet I would have more the next day. When we digest things which are not good for us, we actually experience a high. The high is created when our bodies rally the troops to fight the unwanted guest. As adrenaline attacks the invader, we experience a seemingly pleasurable high from something that is actually not good for our system.

But knowing all this did not give me the power to remove caffeine from my diet. This is because I did not drink it to get the high per se. I was using the high to hide my pain, discomfort, and negative emotions. If I was in a good mood, I didn’t need coffee. If there was troubling me, I longed for caffeine and could think of nothing else. When I was caught up in the high of caffeine, I could ignore what was bothering me. Caffeine is my Band-Aid, my mask. This addiction distracts me from those things I don’t want to face. But you know what? The things I didn’t want to face are still there after every cup.

Next time you reach for your mask of choice whether it is coffee, chocolate, potato chips, or a marathon of CSI, stop. Put down your addiction and wait. See what emotion, fear, anxiety, or worry washes over you. Then work through that discomfort. By going through the discomfort you can remove it once and for all. And in doing so, you can also release your addiction.

Melissa Heisler

Empowering You to Empower Yourself – Melissa Heisler

Empowerment means the power of choice. Empowerment is about courage. It is the belief that we are in control of our experience. Empowerment is not about labeling good or bad, but about actively choosing what makes us happy in each and every moment. The journey to empowerment and great health is not linear and there is no quick fix. The journey is cyclical. There is a progression. We make a commitment, we make progress, we overcome new challenges, and we repeat. Each time, we move inch by inch to a better and better life. Our purpose is to experience the good, the bad and the ugly. Each challenge is an opportunity to go deeper.  Challenges are not setbacks but new lessons to help us expand and grow.

After years of my own physical and emotional health issues, I finally found relief through a mystical trip to Peru, but Shamanism was not the answer to a joyful healthy life. The answer is that I – You – We all have great health available to us right now. We have the power to uncover and embrace this health – mentally, physically, and emotionally. To uncover our health, we first need to accept that we are not broken. Yes, we may not be feeling our best, but we are not broken, diseased, or a victim of circumstances.

Melissa Heisler
Melissa Heisler

So much of our culture is focused on disease – having it, preventing it, suffering from it. Because of this, we see ourselves as broken, imperfect, and hopeless. In fact, we are not broken or hopeless.  We are simply out of alignment.  Beliefs, thoughts, perspectives, and actions are blocking us from our perfect health. The process of healing is to rediscover our health. Health is about making choice after choice to get us closer to alignment and what truly makes us feel good.

I am a recovering Type-A and am passionate about helping others release their stress, uncover perfect health, and embrace a more joyful life. We are all survivors in one way or another. Through our survival we are given tools to help, support, and comfort others. When we know we are not alone, it gives us the courage to make changes in our life.  We all have a powerful message. Through our stories we empower.

Learn how you can help share Melissa’s story and reduce the amount of stress in the world. 

Listen to this engaging episode to learn the impetus of The Empowerment Show and Melissa’s mission to help empower individuals to empower themselves and others. Big thanks to Jennifer Welker as she takes the guest host role so I can take the hot seat and share more of my journey and beliefs.

 

Perfecting Patience

Once again I was fortunate enough to fly to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  I stayed with a friend who took us fishing.  We did a lot of fishing.  We didn’t do a lot of catching.  It was tropical storm season and the rough waters and windy conditions sent the fish elsewhere.  So instead of catching enough dorado and tuna to fill our cooler (and eventually our bellies), we spent most of the time watching the waves, commenting on the desert mountains turned green with the storms, and pointing out the occasional whale.  It was a wonderful boat ride, very relaxing.  Think, however, if we need to catch fish to eat for that week.

When the outcome does not matter to us, it is very easy to be patient and go with the flow.  Nine hours on the water turned into a relaxing afternoon, not one of panic.  However when the outcome matters to us because we need it to survive, because it advances our career, because it means the health of a friend, because it means accomplishing a dream, so often our patience is lacking.

Without patience we become irritable, negative, anxious, angry, and sometimes lash out to blame others for the delay in receiving what we want.  The problem is that we are focused on what we want and not what we have.  As I often say it is the experience or the journey, not the destination where we find joy.  Imagine if you were to climb a mountain.  Is the joy found when you reach the summit?  Maybe some, however much of the joy is in overcoming the small challenges on your way up and enjoying each new vista you reach.

When you find yourself anxious, depressed, and impatient, stop, take a breath.  Take a moment to realize you are throwing away each and every moment as you stay focused on the results which have not yet come.  Immerse yourself in the moment.  It is truly the only one you have.  You may or may not receive the results you want.  You may achieve your goal tomorrow or in five years.  Twenty million things could happen, change, and affect you on your way to your goal.  Release the outcome.  Yes, focus on your desire and do not lose sight of it but don’t let it rule you.  Don’t let the goal become bigger than your enjoyment in the moment.

Focusing on the past brings regret.  Focusing on the future brings anxiety.  And focusing solely on our goals to the point it negates our current experience takes us out of our lives.  Live in the moment.  Bless what you have.  Enjoy what you are experiencing.  Know what you want and move toward it with patience and expectancy.