Monday, 30 March 2009

10 Steps for a Stress Less new Season

Relax, spring is here and for many people it's the season to rejoice. A warmer, sunnier climate is expected to be bouncing along our way soon. Accompanying this brighter change in season is often a change in attitudes, aspirations, dreams and hobbies. Well, it is amongst many of the people I've been talking with recently and that's an optimistic response to the end of the darkly chilled Scandinavian winter.

I've created a list of activities and changes that I hope will attract, amuse and provoke even more creativity from you, for a relaxing spring season. Each suggestion comes with it's own link to a site offering you diverse ways to enjoy spring. Enjoy!

1. Enjoy relaxing in the outside world again.
Maybe you never stopped or maybe you've forgotten what a bright outside world looks like between your workplace, gym, restaurant, car and home. I love the outdoors even if I'm just strolling along listening to my thoughts, my mp3 player or the world around me. I also prefer exercising outside too and rarely use the gym.
If you enjoy walking, cycling and running outdoors here is a useful website to assist you with maps and distances to measure: Map my run

2. Discover something unique about the natural world around you.
This season with it's extra daylight and warmth (usually) is the time to venture outside and really explore this. There's a curious aspect to nature. Did you know that there are mathematical principles visible in plants, human bodies and flowers and they are often expressed in the symbolic language of art, architecture, songs, myths, folk sayings and religions? Neither did I! You can take information outside with you from this site: Golden Number

3. Write poetry for the world to see.
As you cast your hungry gaze across the blossoming landscapes of springs' new vitality...Write something wonderful about the changing daily scenes and inspirations in spring. When you want to share it, (as well as social/microblogging it) submit it to this site
Poetry Magazine

4. Teach yourself Relaxation for less stress
Learn to relax easily and quickly. Discover how to use your imagination, memory and creative flexibility for relaxation. Tell your friends and colleagues when you feel it's good for them.
Begin here with The Relaxing Zone

5. A new season, a new reason to buy new clothes
Buy clothes that reflect the new season and your new 'mood' or 'attitude'. All the fashion houses release new season clothes and all successful high street stores do the same. Feel what colours and styles best reflect you and where you want to be this season. Fashion Chicks

6. Choose different foods for your diet.
Spring greens like asparagus and plantain are starting to come out now. Yummy. Did you know that passion fruit has more fibre per ounce than any other fresh fruit? Nor did I. You can select new foods based on nutritional value (which I suspect is a novelty for some of us) This site is helpful Nutrition Data

7. Grow yourself a herb garden.
Begin planting a herb garden or a herb box (if you have no garden) and you can enjoy their fragrance before using them in your cooking. All they require to grow well is sunshine with a light, fertile well drained soil. Simple stuff. Check this site. Herb Growing

8. Volunteering
A generous way to spread spring's energetic vibe whilst building upon your recognition of need and social responsibility. You can probably think of many ways to offer your skills and knowledge to your neighbours, friends or community. This site matches people and causes Volunteer Match

9. Learn basic digital photography
Capture scenes to inspire the wonder and emotions from the daily scenes around you. Upload and share on flickr or your various blogs and profiles. If you're like me then a few hints and tips are always welcome. The next step is remembering to take the camera outside with you (note to self). Find hints and tips here Digital Photography School

10. Relax and decide upon what you don't need.
Take some old clothes and household items to a charity store near you. Consider it an important aspect of your spring cleaning. You never know what things you might discover for yourself. Find what beliefs and attitudes are unproductive for you now. Exchange them for something more conducive to well being and the blossoming of spring.
Read this for imagining yourself doing something new Tune in, turn on, take off from here

I hope these suggestions are all useful to you. Please let me know your experiences or suggestions for other activities this season.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 27 March 2009

Day Dreaming for Creativity and Relaxation

Day Dream Believing
This article is written about one of my favourite activities. Day dreaming. It's a creative, focused, relaxed way to get insights for your future.
Whilst doing this you can allow anything to be possible with a free and open attitude. Day dreaming has a dual purpose. You are relaxing as well as creatively orienting yourself to gather ideas.

You'll notice I referred to day dreaming as an activity. A very pleasurable, fruitful activity.
That's because I see it as the beginning of creativity. It can be used systematically for inspiration, idea generating and seeing the whole picture as you would like it.
I find it very useful for giving me specific visual information with feelings, that confirm their appropriateness for what I want to accomplish.

To get useful results from day dreaming I suggest having four simple things in place:
1. Your direction - what you want to do. What would you love to do?
2. What you value and what you recognise as useful.
3. Goals you have decided upon.
4. Relaxation.

Begin Day Dreaming
This can be done anywhere you can sit down. Have a pen and paper available or a voice recorder to note your results.
Read through the following technique until you're familiar with it then practise and enjoy day dreaming.

Consider the following and have simple, brief answers. Use the answers as a magnet for the results you'll get from day dreaming.
  • What is it you want to do?
  • What is it's purpose?
  • How soon do want it?
  • Where will it take you in the future once you have it?
Day dreaming is for seeing, feeling and hearing the specific details within the answers. Continue into the next technique.

  • Sit down comfortably with your back straight and feet upon the floor.
  • You can be looking straight ahead or slightly upwards.
  • In your own time, take 3 relaxing deep breaths. Savour each breath as it flows in and out.
  • With every gentle exhalation you'll relax more.
  • Notice which part of you feels most relaxed.
  • Gently take another deep breath and as you let it out imagine a warm and sensuous feeling growing in the area where you feel most relaxed.
  • With your next breath imagine that wonderfully relaxing feeling moving all around your body.
  • Enjoy pleasure in the deeper feelings of relaxation and imagine any tension washing away.
  • Every breath you take can easily deepen this relaxation.
  • Notice what would happen if you took this relaxation into your life.
  • The more you allow things to happen, the more your natural breathing will be relaxed and relaxing.
  • Stay with this feeling and be open to the ideas that will come to you.
Record whatever information is useful and attractive to you.

Day Dreaming Hints & Tips
In my experience a relaxed body posture is important for the best results. I have found a seated upright posture, with head up or slightly raised to be most comfortable. My eyes are gently focused at a point somewhere between my eyebrows and middle of my forehead for the quickest results.
Having the intention to receive appropriate or relevant information is useful. A playful, open attitude seems to encourage more results for me.

I'm very interested to know what you find from using this technique.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Power Trio Videos on Consciousness and Meditation.

I've been watching videos online upon some of my favourite subjects: naturally induced altered states, consciousness, meditation and something called reality (or as I prefer the 'real estate of the mind'). These are areas with plenty of anecdotal evidence and it seems increasing scientific research too.
I've included 3 videos for your entertainment. The first two have fascinating subject matters, covering experiences and opinions on the far reaching insights of the mind and it's effect upon simply being human.

The Federally-Funded Remote Viewer on Stillness and Inner Peace
A very informative video on using stillness as a basis for remote viewing, healing and ESP amongst many other things. I have never practiced RV so cannot vouch for it's efficacy in information gathering.
I do practise stillness, meditation and relaxation and in my experience they are highly effective tools for health and well being. It's an engrossing interview with Russel Targ who co-founded the Stanford Research Institute's federally-funded program that investigated psychic abilities in humans for 10 years. I hope you enjoy it. 36 mins.
Stillness, Remote Viewing and Inner Peace

The Consciousness Altering Neuroscientist on Reality
Neuroscientist Dr Michael Persinger presents a video on his perspective of the Nature of Reality and Consciousness from the experience of altered states. It's a thought provoking video that encouraged me to sit and meditate. 48 mins.
Neuroscience, Altered States and the Nature of Reality

The Short and Sweet Guided Meditation
After so much intellectual banter I feel it's appropriate to complete this power trio with a charming guided meditation for your entertainment from Youtube. Enjoy! 10 mins.
Guided Deep Meditation

Thanks for reading. Thanks for viewing.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Hypnotize yourself for well being now!

This article offers a rapid way to enjoy self hypnosis or self-suggestion.
Below you will find an easy step by step process to hypnotise yourself for greater well being.
Before that, a quick explanation of why I wrote this article.

Hypnosis - my definition
Whatever I call it, this is really what it is: something related to what you probably do much of the waking day when you decide to achieve or get something done (this might range from arriving at work to feeding and bathing the kids).

You can find at least eight different academic and anecdotal definitions online. The fuss over definitions or understanding is almost laughable, except if it results in the denial of powerful resources for those in need. I like to think that defining a thing is not the same as refining it as a result of practical use. In the 21st century, I wonder if hypnotism will be accepted as self induced access to a greater mind - body relationship or will it be pulled back by intellectual caution into the basin of alternative medicine?

I have another simple definition of hypnosis: It's the way you purposefully engage your imagination, your inner dialogue, your feelings, your mind and body. The result of this engagement of your mind-body is: You have choices that you can enjoy. You're in control.
I believe the mind-body is intimately connected. For example, you meet someone you think is attractive, your mind says "oooh", your body feels "laalaa." Very simple, very effective.

I'm avoiding the area of clinical, practitioner and therapy related hypnosis for the purposes of this article. I'm far more interested in what we can do for ourselves as complimentary to other treatments or advice.

Self Hypnosis - what's it all about?
You could probably tell me! It appears to have been 'understood' in different ways through the ages. Each definition ideologically tinted or tainted by various paradigms and cultures. Uses of hypnosis are thought to stem from the ancient temples of Asclepius the Greek god of medicine through to the present day.

I strongly consider our thoughts are our responsibility. You can do with them as you please. Decide now, what type of thoughts you want to give you the feelings you desire, for the life you feel will be yours. Amongst all this change around us, when we notice our present we are more likely to find greater choice for our future. Sometimes the past can be left where it is, behind us. The beautiful thing is you do have the power, the technology, the innate skills to alter your thoughts for a wonderful change.

The Benefits of Self Hypnosis
Like so many useful things in life, the practical value of anything is in it's application. If you experience a benefit you can connect with it's use, then that is excellent because you can explore it further. If not, find something else that works.

Artists of all kinds (people with the same technologies of mind and body, like you and me) produce new music, release new movies, create new art, build new structures, care about something, give and receive love, focus thinking in new directions, are changed by new feelings.
Science claims that every part of our human physiology is constantly undergoing change. You can't think an original thought twice.

Imagine if someone listened to the same songs, watched the same movies, did the same things repeatedly over many months they'll eventually become uninspired, tired and unhappy during those moments. Oh yeah, if you're thinking 'Why change?' ' I don't need to change' I'm not saying you do. I am saying that all life is experiencing change. Changeless change. It appears very good at it.

I like to generalise the term 'successful' to 'success in being well.' I like to think this helps people search internally for more wealth in their life beyond money.
Which means many of us have more choices. Also more potential acknowledgement of success. Your thoughts belong to you because they exist in your personal space. Whether they are originally yours or were inspired from another source like a marketing campaign only you will know. The mind is a reactive tool and we can use it to very good effect for our well being. Some people claim happiness, well being, relaxation and a financial fortune from using their mind creatively and productively.

The way to rapidly hypnotise yourself
Read through the suggestions below, practise them. Then sit down, relax, close your eyes and repeat to hypnotise yourself.

Choose a belief you want for yourself. For example, you want the confidence to choose to do whatever you want. Pick something that you believe will make a positive difference in your life.

  • Sit down comfortably, close your eyes and relax.
  • Imagine yourself with your chosen belief. A healthy, wealthy attitude, a preferred situation, a fruitful life that you will one day call your own.
  • Maybe you want to be more loved - loving, confident, energetic, creative, generous, sexy, sociable. The choice is yours.
  • Imagine living a life with this belief. Experience this vividly and colourfully.
  • Notice what your behaviour is like. How well are you living? How happy are you? What are you attracting into your life with this new belief?
  • Be aware of how you are walking, standing, smiling, talking, breathing with this new image of you.
  • See yourself doing these things and notice the following: How are you moving? What does your voice sound like? How are you dressed? How do you talk with other people?
  • Be intuitive, be playful and explore what feels most appropriate.
  • Make any adjustments you like to increase your well being. Make the colours rich and bright, the sounds louder, the good feelings stronger.
  • Move into this image, if you haven't done so already. Integrate with this new attitude and behaviour you've been noticing. Let them really become yours.
  • Sit and savour this for as long as you like.
  • You will know when you've 'got it right' because your body will vibrate with pleasure. You'll feel what's best. Hear what your mind-body tells you.
What situations in your life will benefit from your new behaviour? All of them?
Take time to imagine and record what you can achieve with this new belief and skills.

This suggestion was based upon my experiences of using tools provided by the Silva Method and NLP.

I'll suggest you repeat this self hypnosis regularly. Make a normal daily schedule for it. It's simply using your imagination to benefit your behaviour to positively shape your life.
So, self - hypnotise yourself now to feel great whilst planning your future. I wonder how curious you are about how you can make your future from this present? The more you practise the technique above, the more you'll notice what is best for you.
Many of us are fortunate people to be living with the inner and outer technology available to us. Explore it for yourself and let's discover what the potential is.

Tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Your fantastic internal technology

I wrote this article to offer my ideas and beliefs upon using the gifts and gadgetry (our minds and bodies) to help us in creating well being, happiness and just about anything else we can realistically get. It's my opinion and I like to imagine it'll be useful to you. So, let me add that this article may practically assist you in your well being. To more easily provide you with the everyday luxury of relaxation. To be calm and focus on your enjoyment of meditation.

I've provided links to earlier articles I've written (highlighted text) with step by step methods to explore relaxation, well being, meditation and personal development.

Our fantastic internal technology of the present for the future
I expect it's common knowledge that surviving and thriving or being happy and healthy requires a working knowledge of technology. We use an uber-sophisticated technology called our mind and it's peripheral hardware called our brain and nervous system. It was the first and will always be the greatest set of gadgetry we will own or operate.

Take pleasure in the fact that it's easier to use than the software programs in our computers. Instead of clicking through the help section we can rapidly ask our memory and notice our emotions and honest reflections as to whether something has been done 'correctly' or not. We can also change emotions, distort and reshape our memories to remove bad feelings that limit our enjoyment of our life. We can create beliefs to motivate us to achieve something new. We can use our internal sensational dictionary to find the words that quickly build wonderful feelings and attitudes. We can love ourselves.

The good thing is most of the hard work has been done for us. We've already had years of experience in using our internal software and we are benefiting from the biological development of generations. Let us use this to our advantage. I think it's always useful to simplify beliefs and opinions on subjects that matter. It makes everything easier to grasp and we can all feel that we understand the same things.

I'm going to briefly describe my simple ideas on how our minds operate.
Our views and beliefs of the world can be said to have 4 basic parts:

Generally, our minds use 3 things to create perceptions, memories and comparisons of our world. We can alter each of them to change how we feel, think and act. That's a clever thing.

Images - for many of us images appear around us physically and within us as memories all day, every day. They are composed of colour, moving or still objects and often multi-sensory. Many people even recall dreaming in images.

Location and Time - When something is remembered it's saved in a special place in your imagination. Two useful analogies are when you want to quickly find saved work on your computer you first store it as a file, in a folder within a directory. You will leave money in your home in a place you consider safe and memorable and only easily found by you.

Association - remember biting into your favourite food? When you do, you'll probably recall the taste, sensation of food in your mouth, smell, colour and pleasure.

One of the most important prerequisites for well being of any description is choice. How you create choice depends on how well you play with Images, Associations, Locations and the techniques listed below.

How we notice choices depends on our learning skills with the things listed above. Thankfully, that's easy to do and many of us are able to create choices in our lives. We can do this when our environment supports us and we are able to step into or create new environments.
Most importantly you can learn how to use your internal world - your imagination and brain to create the sorts of choices you want. Sometimes you may be in places where you'd prefer not to be. Then you have your flexibility with your imagination to make internal changes to your perception of what's happening around you. Until you can leave and go somewhere you prefer. Regardless of what personal development magic they may work, most people do not want to be in a war zone for too long if at all.

I believe you'll do very well when you use any and all the following techniques toward well being and positive self change.

Imagination - Einstein said it "embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
Positive Images - you'll enjoy repeating certain things and most minds and bodies like good memories.
Movement - We remember and feel movement more than still images. Make them 3D for more effect.
Humour - I believe most people like a good laugh and it's a magic tool for transforming how you feel.
Exaggeration - Over emphasising shapes, colours, movements, sounds can be fast, fun way to change our attitude and feelings and create new behaviour.
Colour - It's powerful, emotional, we wear it everyday, most if us see it every day.
Sound - what's your favourite music? the sound of your lovers voice? You hear what I'm saying?

Individually or together, they'll produce new feelings which you can play with to shape new ideas and behaviours. You are a technological marvel. We are a mind - body mystery in motion. Get familiar with using the gadgetry you were born with. Love exploring this wonder and expand it into new ways of living and sharing on this planet. Together we can be ever changing, new, different, creative maybe revolutionary in our designs for well being, harmony and positive change.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 16 March 2009

Your voice in your words for deeper relaxation

Yesterday, someone in a cafe told me they felt stressed. They said almost the same things as my friend whom I spoke with on Friday: "I can't seem to relax. I'm stressed. I've got thoughts going around my head all the time. It's like i can't switch off."

This was important stuff to hear because I knew what they were talking about. They believed they had lost control of their inner dialogue. It's like they stopped driving the car to watch the scenery go by instead and wonder why they've left the road, hitting the barriers. I have had similar experiences in the past. I was fortunate to learn how to control it, reduce it and do something different to feel much better instead. It's good they can identity what is happening because they can now more easily help themselves.

This is the technique I recommended to them. It is a highly effective yet simple tool in using your own voice to get control and change your experiences to those you prefer to have. The most important thing to remember is you have control and adaptability for your own well being.

The quick guide
You need to gently step inside, slow yourself down, relax and turn the switch off. The cool thing is when some people discover new ways to relax they find new confidence too.
I recommend using an inner voice tonality, speed and volume that is calming, soothing and relaxing. Practice using the most relaxing tone of voice you can imagine whilst reading the following technique. You'll know when you've found your perfect voice because your body will tell you so. Your will relax with a feeling you have not felt in this way for a long time.

The Technique
When you notice the thoughts moving and any feelings of unease or stress do the following:
  • Imagine removing the energy from the thoughts. They are in your head so you have control now.
  • Slow them down. When you can notice them moving around your head, then you can slow that motion to a trickle and a more peaceful pace.
  • As the thoughts slow down so the feelings you have will improve. You can easily turn yourself away from stressed toward so very deeply relaxed.
  • Tell yourself in a calm, gentle voice to slow down and soften. Use a tonality that is rich in soothing undertones so your body automatically relaxes. It's like you are slowly and lovingly caressing something you adore.

This will also improve your well being dramatically.
  • Find a word or phrase that feels relaxing to you. For example, it can be 'relax' or 'bliss' or 'I'm deeply relaxed.' Find any of your own.
  • Only choose the words that really make your body relax and your mind calm. The sort of words that send the most wondrous sensations up and down your spine and from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
  • In your soothing, calm voice repeat the word or phrase to yourself until you are enjoying the state of relaxation you want.
  • Enjoy this regularly. It's like eating your favourite delicious, nutritious food or meeting your best friend. You'll do it often because it feels fantastic.

Advanced technique
Exploring the use of your new relaxing voice. You can say things to yourself and direct your voice inside yourself for different effects.
  • Repeat your relaxing words and imagine hearing them from your right side and then your left. Then both places together. It's like you're hearing with stereo speakers.
  • Maybe you prefer surround sound. Imagine hearing your voice coming from left and right and from in front and behind you. Then imagine your voice from above and below.
  • Now, experience your wonderfully relaxing voice all around you and inside of you.
  • Imagine a group of singers surrounding you with a harmony of voices spreading relaxation through you and all around you.
I wonder what you are noticing and how good you are feeling.

Remember, the potential to positively and dramatically effect your well being with this technique is literally within you. It's exists between the twin powers of your imagination and your talent with your inner voice or inner dialogue. I believe we all talk to ourselves. We have our pep talks, rallying calls, admonishments, alarms and songs of love. Let's develop skills in using them wisely, lovingly, powerfully and direct them with our best intentions for well being.

Let me know what you are experiencing.
Thanks for reading

Friday, 13 March 2009

Using your Mind-Body Skills for Improved Sports Training

Sport training, relaxation and visualisation are not usually considered important for the non-professional or non elite trainer or sports person. Yet have you considered that before every physical action you take, you probably visualise it, feel it in your body and most likely have some inner dialogue about it?
I'm no expert on you but if you're a healthy human being you will likely notice one, even all three of these inner functions.
Which leads me to ask: what of your mental and emotional skills in preparing for sport or exercising? This article reveals some techniques to enhance and balance the quality of your training preparation and performance.

I'm going to introduce a series of mind-body conditioning tools for you. They begin with preparation before your training or exercise and lead into you performing your exercise itself - in this example running. They will help you build a new awareness of yourself through meditation and transfer this to your body movement and attitude when training.

The first goal is for you to build a clearer sense of your form and perception and beauty of movement.
The second goal is for to either achieve more optimal performance, overall fitness or greater enjoyment and appreciation of your activity.
Furthermore, you will hopefully enjoy greater skills in visualising or imagining new possibilities and achievements.

For the purposes of this article I used running as my exercise as it's very popular and practised by many sport and exercise enthusiasts. Yes, I practised the following suggestions myself. You can use these techniques with many types of exercise. I've also used them with body weight exercises like burpees. Practice the techniques yourself to discover if they give you new limits of mental and physical fitness. Let me know your discoveries.

1. Breathing and Awareness Meditation
  • Sit down comfortably, relax and close your eyes.
  • Breathe normally through your nose.
  • Notice the sensations of the breath upon the tips of your nostrils.
(I highly recommend you sit and enjoy this meditation at many other times as well for general calm and well being).
  • Be aware of this sensation for 2 to 5 minutes. Build this from 2 minutes to whatever length of time is good for you. Remain relaxed and focus upon the breath on your nostril tips.
  • Afterwards you should be in a calm, relaxed or altered state from when you first sat down. Be aware of what you are experiencing in this new state. Then move on to the following.

2. Movement
  • Remaining in this new state, stand up and move around, gradually building up a greater range of movement.
  • Remember to stay or return to this state during these movements.
  • When you feel ready, begin slowly running. Notice what this feels like.
  • Return to the state when you are ready to go for a normal run and notice what the differences are between this and your other runs.

The next suggestion is to be performed on a different training session from the one above.

3. Vivid Visualisation
  • Vividly imagine your body being light and durable.
  • Maybe your body is filled with a substance that represents those attributes to you.
  • Clearly imagine what it feels like, what colours are associated with it and any sounds.
  • Carry this visualisation into your next run.
  • Notice if the differences are beneficial and produce improved running style and stamina.
I'd also recommend only running when you feel the 'light' effects of this visualisation are present. This will help you strongly associate the feelings with the running.

The next suggestion is to be performed at a different training session from the one above.

4. Focused Awareness and your Dynamic Imagination
  • Begin by sitting down and meditating on the sensation of the breath upon your nostrils for 2 - 5 minutes.
  • Immediately after, in as much detail as you can, imagine a quiet, bright, outdoor space where you can clearly see any objects or movement.
  • See a human figure running towards you in the distance. This is your perfect runner. It has the perfect injury free running style, it has stamina, agility and is obviously enjoying the run.
  • Importantly, it has knowledge to share with you. Observe how it runs.
  • As it closely approaches you, join it in the run. See yourself running with this figure or you may merge with it.
  • When this experience is vivid, get up and begin running for real.
Alternatively, only run when this experience of the perfect runner is most clear in your mind.

Above, I've given you 4 steps to explore exercising through your mind-body connection. I want you to enjoy this and find the different ways you can connect your 'inner skills' to your training or sporting performance. You may be searching for optimal performance, increased overall fitness or greater enjoyment of your activity. Whichever it is, I hope you find something very useful in these techniques. I'm sure you will at least have a greater skill in entering useful altered states for your well being and relaxation. That alone is a wonderful achievement.

I currently exercise regularly in a non-competitive style. Which means exercising in solitary style through short distance runs, sprinting, body weight workouts using intervals and Tabata sessions. I enjoy it. It's varied, demanding and short. I rarely exercise for more than 45 minutes. I have enjoyed playing squash and now live in an area with no squash facilities for many miles around. Boohoo.

Let me know your discoveries.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Instant Relaxation Videos

I've been watching some great relaxation videos on YouTube this week and would like to present them to you here. They are all very popular with over 20,000 views for some and over 400,000 views for the most popular. Together they give you a range of visual, spoken and musical relaxation themes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

A suggestion: when watching the videos notice where relaxation begins and how the feeling of relaxing moves through you. Be aware of how relaxed you become. Are you more deeply relaxed during and after watching a particular video?

You have the ability to repeat the experience of relaxing once you become aware of how good it feels. Simply notice and remember the wonderful sensations of relaxing from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Notice this in vivid detail so you will remember it much more easily. From there you can allow yourself to relax more frequently and with greater ease. It's a beautiful thing!

Instant Relaxation

Relaxation Meditation Nature Sounds

Amazon Rainforest Relaxation Video

Relaxation Meditation (Sunset over the Ocean)

Body Relaxation Exercise

Relaxation Therapy

New Age Merlin's Magic Meditation Music

Which videos helped you to relax the most? Which videos do you feel give you the ability to relax again without having to watch them a second or third time? Please let me know.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 9 March 2009

10 amazing books you'll want to read

I decided to include a selection of books that I think will enhance your lifestyle or interests in personal development, self help and self improvement. At the very least they may offer you cause for reflection and creative thinking as you read the opinions of thinkers and philosophers from four continents, dating back hundreds of years.

1. The Master Key System Charles F. Haanel

This system gives opinions on so-called causes, effects, and laws that relate to health, wealth and relationship success or it's opposite. It's an 'old school' book written over eighty years ago. Basically it tells you that what is happening outside is in a direct relation to what is taking place in your mind or consciousness. The book covers everything from how to create abundance and wealth to how to get healthy. What more d'ya want! Oh yeah, I've read it was instrumental in the 70's and 80's in directing Bill Gates attitude toward success and that it was once banned by the catholic church. What more recommendations do you need? Read it now!

2. The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked
What a cool and optimistic title. I'm still unsure of how realistic this is for many people but it's worth a look. It's a mixture of pop psychology, self-help and motivating yourself away from industrial societies work ethic conditioning and deciding what you want and how well you can achieve and sustain it. Taken with a pinch of salt I found it a reflective document on my daily working life (work and money values, societies goals versus individual goals) and 'western societies' approach to retirement, unemployment and moving off the grid in a small way.

3. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old Deepak Chopra
He writes upon the choices we have in reducing the mentally and socially enforced aging process. Simply put, you change your beliefs you change how you age. The basis for his belief, is quantum physics and scientists like Heisenberg, Bohr and Einstein whose work I have not read so cannot comment upon. He encourages us to reinterpret our views of our mind and body and realise they are intimately bound. I enjoyed it's life affirming message.

4. Creative Visualization Shakti Gawain
One of those classic books that are sometimes overlooked in the 'spaghetti bolognese' of self help books now available but easily consumed with relish when found. This has practical, short exercises to develop a positive, creative imagination through visualisations, meditation, affirmations and more. The book's goal is to give you tools to manifest what you want. Not necessarily everything you want.

5. Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu
A wonderful little book. I particularly enjoy the insightful commentaries earlier in the book. They sound more profound and almost 'universal' in their understanding of human thought and existence. A consistently popular title amongst eastern scholars, philosophers and every day guys like me who enjoy reading something between editions of FHM.

6. 1984 George Orwell
I dropped this powerful pocket book in here because it describes a potential for society, humanity to lose their freedom, individuality and reflection upon 'truth'. It's a remarkably insightful story of a government power structure that controls information and individual thought and memory. I regard this book as a reminder to embrace the power of individuality and our ability to decide upon what we want to feel and how we want to behave.

7. As A Man Thinketh James Allen
I agree with this statement attributed to the book 'Noble thoughts make a noble person, negative thoughts hammer out a miserable one.' What you consider noble and negative will be unique to you beyond our good ol' societies conditioning. It's another old book with a style of it's time that has reached well into our current era. There's no denying that what you think effects your well being. The question is what do you attribute 'well being' to. The author suggests the unconscious mind generates as much action as the conscious mind and claims 'We do not attract what we want, but what we are. We attract not only what we love - but what we fear.' His explanation is that those thoughts which receive our attention, good or bad, go into the unconscious to become the fuel for later events.

8. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi
People in a state of 'flow' are those who feel engaged in the creation of something larger, of being in the 'zone', 'ecstasy' or whatever synonyms are available for doing something well. The claim is that people who generate their own flow experiences who will tend to be happier. The author says that the best moments do not happen by chance, according to the whim of external event, but can be predicted to occur when a specific activity is engaged.

9. Caravan of Dreams Idries Shah
Wonderful stories allegedly collected from Sufi sources dating back hundreds of year. I enjoy re-reading their humour, simplicity and insight into human nature/psychology and the search for meaning in life and love for something greater than what is apparent with our basic senses.

10. Heal Yourself with Medical Hypnosis: The Most Immediate Way to Use Your Mind-Body Connection Dr. Weil and Dr. Gurgevich
A great audio book discussing the physiological mechanisms behind the mind-body connection, and stripping away the ridiculous shroud that in the 21st century still darkens the practice of hypnosis. It offers a concise historical account of hypnosis with some case studies. There are also trance induction methods, trance deepening and a full session of self-healing with hypnosis.
If it's your first introduction to hypnosis then I believe it will be an enjoyable and valuable one.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 6 March 2009

Getting rid of that pain

This article highlights 3 ways in which we can help ourselves reduce or even remove small pain like backache, toothache, knee aches. I'm labelling them as Well Being 1, 2 and 3. It is to be used as a compliment to your lifestyle and any therapy or medication you may take. The cool thing is there are no side effects. You are using your own brain to remember and restore feelings of health.

Small, regular experiences of pain can be distracting at best and debilitating at worst. I'm assuming that you realise pain is an important sensation for you to notice. It is your body telling you that an area needs rest, recuperation, healing and maybe even rehabilitation. Listen to it and seek medical advice if necessary. Normally we only experience pain briefly before the body repairs itself and returns to a normal, pleasurable state of health. Of course some people do experience chronic pain or more dramatically debilitating pain as a result of injury.

People notice and respond to different sensations. People also explore themselves and their potential in different ways. I hope you can easily use these techniques to control sensations in your body. I recommend practising and playing. It's the best attitude for me when I'm curious about something new and untested. Please remember to adapt them to suit yourself. It's about self exploration, personal development and well being.

This article is concerned with small, brief pain as it is written from my experience of using the techniques to remove them. It may be useful for people experiencing chronic or severe pain too. Please let me know if this is the case. I always recall the 4 Rs with regard to my health and healing: Relaxation, Rest, Recuperation and Rehabilitation.

The feelings of pain may return for a variety of reasons. Use these techniques to reduce or remove them when they return. I hope they work very well for you too. Do these exercises if you feel happy and comfortable in doing them. Rarely, people may experience something less than comfort or curiosity and I always recommend they stop and do something else they prefer. Believing you can alter your bodies sensations to improve your feelings is a huge step in the direction of improved well being.

Well Being 1
  • Remember what it feels like to have healthy normal sensations in the area of your body currently experiencing pain.
  • Vividly recall what healthy sensations are like in every detail you can remember.
To help you, consider the following.
  • Notice if there is any colour associated with the healthy feelings.
  • When you make the healthy colour brighter does it increase good feelings?
  • Notice if there is any movement associated with the healthy feelings.
  • When you increase the healthy movement and spread it into the surrounding areas does it reduce the pain?
  • Notice if there is any sound accompanying it also.
  • When you increase the healthy sound does it increase good feelings in the area of your body where the pain was?
  • There may be many more things you notice. Remember and record them in detail in your imagination because you will use them again soon.
  • If you haven't already done so, infuse the area concerned with these good sensations of health.
  • This may be enough to dramatically reduce or remove the pain.
  • Remember what level of change you have made that is optimum for reducing or removing the pain and replacing it with normal healthy feelings.
I recommend you then settle into relaxation or use this technique to increase your well being.

If you still experience pain practice this next technique. It is presented in two different ways because either may be sufficient in reducing pain. Feel free to adapt all these techniques for your own benefit. The following tool is designed to reduce pain.
Use my suggestions as a guide only. If they are not reducing pain then use or explore something else that will.

Well Being 2
  • Notice if the pain has an image with colour, size, feeling, sound, movement or any other attribute you think is appropriate.
  • Take some time to notice what the attributes of pain are. Then begin changing them to reduce or remove pain.
  • For example, reduce the colour to a thin, washed-out pastel like appearance.
  • Reduce the feeling in the same way as a hand stroke across your arm gradually fades away.
  • Slow any movement down so it stops.
  • Lower the volume of any sound associated with this until it can no longer be heard.
  • Reduce the image to the size of a pin head or so it disappears completely.
  • Do this until the pain is gone or reduced.
  • Then place the normal healthy sensations from the first exercise in the area of your body now free from pain.
A variation to the ending of this is:
  • Take the changed feelings of pain and move them to the palm of your left hand and allow it to fall way like fine grains of sand in a strong breeze.
  • Then place the healthy feelings you remembered into your right hand, sending them through your body gathering more healthy energy and revitalisation before they settle into the specific area of your body.

The third technique is similar to the last one but with an added feature. You will first rate the feeling of pain and do this again later to self assess the level of reduction of pain.

Well Being 3
  • Rate the painful feeling on a scale of 1 to 5
  • Make an image of the pain. Notice where the image is. Notice any colours, movements, sounds. Change them as you did in the previous exercise.
  • After changing each attribute (and there may be as few or as many as you notice) rate the overall feeling on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • If it has reduced but is not a 1 or 0 then continue to change the attributes further.
  • If after the next scale it has not reduced further, send the changed painful feeling into your left hand and away from your body.
  • Place the healthy normal sensations in it's place as in previous exercises. Again rate the level of change. Ideally it should be at 1 or 0.
I hope these suggestions for more healthy, healing sensations and the removal or reduction of pain are very useful for you. I hope you can integrate them into your lifestyle.

The suggestions I've made are based on the use of the imagination to create changes to well being using the brain and body's capacity to adapt and heal itself. They've worked well for me and I believed they would when I explored my way of using them. I'm fortunate in that I have never experienced serious illness or debilitating injury or pain.

I'm a big believer in using our own innate, imaginative skills for well being and health to compliment whatever assistance we need from our societies' medical and health authorities.
I think it's crucial to our well being that we take responsibility for our health and our actions. Sometimes we do not have a choice about what is put into our environments. We can have greater choice in how we use our minds and bodies to create the inner and outer environments we desire.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Dig your roots for relaxation and meditation

This is a great meditation to get you feeling relaxed, calm and refreshed. It's simple, imaginative and it works very well. This is another useful 'awareness' meditation. Use it anywhere you are not driving or operating machinery. You can successfully get the benefits whilst at work, sat in a cafe, on public transport, at home in front of the TV or computer.

After you have read the following suggestions close your eyes and practice this meditation.
  • Begin by sitting comfortably with your back straight and head balanced naturally with your eyes looking forward.
  • Place both your feet flat on the floor.
  • Breathe naturally through your nose and relax.
  • Imagine 'energy' or 'roots' moving down from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.
  • Now imagine the roots moving down from both your feet into the ground below you.
  • Move those roots deep into the earth below.
  • Allow them to travel as far and as deep as feels natural to you.
  • Keep this process comfortable and avoid forcing anything.
  • When the 'roots' stop moving, sit still and notice what you notice. Sit quietly for as long or as short as you like.
  • Simply notice what you notice.
When you are satisfied with sitting still, then you can use your imagination again. Still having your 'roots' in the earth below, you do the following:
  • Imagine nature's revitalising powerful energy entering your body via the roots.
  • The energy will travel into the soles of your feet and move a natural easy-flowing course through your body.
  • Intend the energy to move from the tips of your toes to the top of your head and everywhere in between.
  • Have the intention that this natural energy will infuse every part of your body including it's organs, bones, capillaries, blood vessels, cells with revitalising power.
  • Sit and enjoy this for as long as you like.

In the future you may like to be aware of some other features of this exercise.
How relaxed do you become? How still do you become?
What is the colour or colours of the energy? Where does the energy move? What speed does the energy move? What are the good feelings it gives you? Where do you feel the energy will be best used inside you? What more do you want from this?

Curious about discovering how easy it is to be still in meditation? Then use this breathing meditation to explore more.

Remember to sit quietly, feet on the floor, back straight and relax. Then visualise roots spreading down inside your body, from the top of your head through your feet into the earth below. Use this whether you are sat at home, sat on a plane, train or the 34th floor of a tower. It doesn't matter where you are but what you are capable of doing to relax, meditate and feel good.
It's your imagination for you to use any way you like. I hope you really enjoy it.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

11 steps for a change

1. Begin your day with a few positive, energising, self-endorsing statements. For example, in the morning saying phrases like "I'm feeling wonderful!" "I'm relaxed and alert" "I'm enjoying a great day" is obviously going to be more positive for your immediate well being than habitually repeating things like " Oh, I'm too tired" "I've got to drag myself to work in an hour" "I can't be bothered today".

2. Say your positive statements with enthusiasm even if you're feeling tired and notice just how quickly you begin to feel better. The amazing thing with using your voice like an actor on stage or film is you can feel the different effects your voice has on your body and attitude almost immediately. It's one of the most powerful everyday tools for creating good feelings.

3. Wear different coloured clothes than you normally would. If you normally wear lots of black, white and red add some colours like yellow, blue, green and pink. Spring and summer are good seasons to explore colour themes for your wardrobe. You can buy cheap t-shirts, shirts and shorts and if you don't like wearing them give them to a charity.

4. I'm adding this one because it's useful, practical, obvious and heavily overstated in the self help genre. Differentiate between what is achievable and what is an unrealistic goal. Focus upon the achievable. Focus upon what is most important. Alternatively, just do what you want to do and have fun!

5. Change your diet by exploring different food types. For example, choose a morning to eat fruit and some nuts instead of bread or packaged cereals and notice if you feel different or have more energy. Listen to what your body tells you when you eat new foods. Your body is your own precious automatic, regenerating feedback machine. So use it with loving care.

6. Discover how many different, new or exotic varieties of food are available to you. Maybe vegetables are exotic to you. If not exotic then maybe a little rare in your diet. What does your local grocers or supermarket stock? What are the differences in cost? How exciting can you make a new dish? What music will you listen to when making a particular dish? Consider tastes, smells, cooking time, ways to cook and who to cook for to help make eating more exciting and healthy.

7. Be yourself. What does this really mean? Whatever happens and whatever you do, who else can you be? It's often a ridiculous suggestion for someone to make. I prefer " Be True to Yourself". I only put it here because some friends said they like to read "Be yourself" and it means "Be true to yourself." I'm a crowd pleaser!

8. Read a book that attracts you and stimulates your imagination or satisfies an interest or hobby you have. Alternatively become a write yourself. Start a blog. Write poetry or songs. Begin a blog with poetry.

9. Turn off the TV, computer, Ipod or any other device that you habitually allow to consume your attention. Take control and enjoy doing something else for a change. There's plenty of alternatives to choose from.

10. Begin exercising. I'm sure you're as surprised to find this here as I am to find myself including it. Go walking, cycling, running, workout using your body weight. There's lots of online information on exercising. Go take a look. You do not need a gym to get fit and healthy. Foremost you need yourself, your imagination and your motivation.

11. Be quiet, relaxed and still. These are three natural states of being. Have fun in exploring them and write down what you discover about each. You may be fascinated by what you find. They may even positively change the way you perceive life.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 1 March 2009

That's what I want!

This article will look at what we want and how to begin organising our thoughts and ideas at the beginning of the day.
Decide upon what you want to experience more of during the day. You can't always have vehicle-free roads or ecstasy inducing moments or large lotto winning surprises. We can decide to experience certain feelings more frequently. We can even decide to experience more events in our lives when we are prepared to go into environments that support them.

We can first build 3 things:
1. Clear insights into what we want
2. Strong beliefs about new things we want
3. Test the beliefs to see if we really want them.

This is not about wealth creation but about attracting more 'wealth' of daily experience. Although I'm sure it can be used in conjunction with wealth creation strategies and tactics.
It's really about:
1. Building expectations inside yourself.
2. Developing the ability to notice the things you want in the world around you.
3. Creating vivid experiences and good feelings inside yourself.
4. Organising your imagination to give you enthusiasm and motivation toward useful things.
5. Deciding what good, useful things you can get today.

I'll elaborate more on the above to give you greater scope for exploration and expression.

1. Decide what you want more of....
that you know you can achieve either today or sometime this week. For example 'feel happier more often', 'laugh more with friends', 'put money regularly into a saving account', 'flirt more with women/men', 'design a plan for my future goals, achievements'.

2. How do you know something is or will be important to you?
Do this simple exercise. Imagine a scenario where you already have the thing you want. You've got it or you're already doing something you want to do.
What are you noticing?
Does it feel good? Your body will tell you this automatically.
What benefits can you list as a result of doing this activity or having that thing? If you've no benefits at all and it doesn't feel good then it's probably useful to choose something else.

If you're struggling to remember what it's like to feel good and make good choices...
Do you remember a time when you were happy?
Do you remember a time you did something or bought something that made you feel good afterwards and maybe for a long time afterwards?
What did you experience in the build up to and during the good decision?
What made you decide to do the thing that made you feel so good?
Where do the feelings start and where do they travel?
Can you make those good feelings even stronger and longer lasting?

3. When you find a thing or many things you want, vividly imagine two scenarios.
Attracting them into your life.
Living with them already in your life as a common occurrence.

4. Decide that you can enjoy more things or different things in your life and be realistic.
You may not win the lotto this week but you can enjoy the expectation to win especially if you play the lotto. Otherwise why waste your time and money? You may want a better car and being realistic may mean cleaning, repairing and part exchanging your old car for a new model. You may benefit from reducing other financial outgoings and adopting small changes in your lifestyle, like reducing clothes shopping, buying healthier foods, walking more and reducing fuel costs, stopping smoking, in consumer terms the list is flexible and nearly inexhaustible.

5. Consider this.
To enjoy vivid, body tingling realistic expectations, it's good to know that the things you can achieve tomorrow or next year are really available.
Where are they found in the world?
Who already has them?
How do I get them for myself?
Discovering much more about these things will help you decide if they are accessible and neccessary for your happiness and well being.

6. This is how you begin creating good experiences inside yourself for the activity you want to do.
  • Imagine yourself beginning the activity.
  • Create a large image of yourself. Make it life size if that's more comfortable or powerful for you.
  • See yourself smiling broadly and being happy and relaxed performing the activity.
  • Now make that image into a movie. See yourself performing, hear what you hear and feel what you feel.
  • Increase the colours, sounds and take time to notice your happy feelings as well as the 'physical' feelings of you accomplishing the activity.
  • When you have the movie as you like it, move fully into it if you have not already done so.
  • Imagine you are there really accomplishing whatever activity you want to do well.
  • Enjoy some moments there and really allow those sensations to 'soak' into you.
  • Imagine the rewards you will receive, however big or small, once you are really performing the activity.
  • Now, imagine the rewards you will receive, however big or small, once you have accomplished it. These rewards may be emotional like relief, happiness or relaxation or financial or anything else that's positive.
7. Organising your thoughts and internal experiences on paper or computer.
Create lists for what you want or need. There are two (really, many) ways of developing a list. One list can show firstly what is achievable or necessary and moving toward what is desirable and is expected to take a longer period to achieve. The second is to start with what is realistically achievable and move toward what is fantasy.
When your creating the list, establish a time line. Begin with what you can achieve now during the coming week then progress to the month and every 2 or 3 month period. You may prefer to list items on a weekly basis, bi weekly or monthly. You can decide upon many variations and alter them whenever you like.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with relaxation. Sometimes we relax when we notice more choices in our lives and opportunities to change in the way we want to. The post is concerned with creating choices with the imagination to help notice more choices available to us in our every day world. When we have the flexibility to 'see' more, we can feel more too and this may help in listening to discover more of what we really want. So decide what you want. Discover the best way for you to do that. Then explore your world around you and notice more of what you choose. Have fun!

Thanks for reading