Boost Your Wellness in 2018


February 20th, 2018

Wellness Tips for 2018

Consider this: 8 million adults have ADHD/ADD. That’s 8 million adults who struggle with organization, focus, and keeping on task (to name a few things). What’s more, over half of those with ADHD also have some form of mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. While doctor-prescribed medication is the first course of action, there are several things you can do on your own for a wellness boost in 2018.

Find Your Focus

With the start of the New Year comes resolutions to improve your health, such as eating healthy or committing to a fitness plan. Even the most laser-focused adult can find it hard to stick to goals, and ADHD adds another layer of opposition. However, by implementing the right strategies, you can improve your focus and reach your goals. Start simple by creating a visual reminder of your desired outcomes, such as a date by which to achieve a weight-loss goal or nights on which you will cook as opposed to eating frozen food or ordering from the drive-through. However, writing it down might not be enough. Papers get lost in the shuffle, and it’s easy to avert your eyes and ignore your plans. Find an accountability partner who will support and motivate you along the way. This doesn’t have to be someone who goes with you to the gym. This can be a friend or family member that you check in with once or twice a week to gain honest, unbiased feedback and constructive criticism. Use this person as your go-to not only in your wellness goals, but your life goals, too.

Let Your Home Match Your Goals

Your home isn’t just where your heart is; it’s where you spend a lot of your time, so it makes sense that you would optimize it for organized, stress-free living. Set aside a room in your home without electronic distractions for your creative pursuits. Buy a comfortable chair, some paintings of nature, and other relaxing decor to inspire less stress. Before you fill your house with de-stressing items such as an oil diffuser, greenery, or a new plushy pillow, you need to do a little bit of a purge first. No one is ever perfectly organized, but small changes go a long way. Recruit a friend to help you sort all your items into “Keep,” “Toss,” and “Donate” piles. Make sure everything has a place, including mail, receipts, and loose change. Rather than try to tackle it all in one day, and get down on yourself when you don’t finish, break it up into manageable tasks and use a sticky note to remind yourself where you left off. The sticky-note method can be applied for any project or task you take on whether it is chores, work, or reading a good book.

The Year of No

You’re using fine-tuned focusing strategies, and your house is in order, but none of this matters if you can’t say “no.” A major symptom of ADHD is impulsivity, which could lead to a plate that is way too full and unnecessary stress/anxiety. Rather than immediately turning down every request that comes your way, practice a rehearsed response such as, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.” Use the extra time you earned to not only think about whether you want to do this, but if you can. Remind yourself that no one expects you to graciously accept every opportunity that comes your way—it’s okay to graciously decline. You’ll likely find that the control you have will carry over into other areas of your life. Plus, saying “no” frees up time to focus on you and the ways you plan to make 2018 the year of wellness.

ADHD is a chronic condition, but it is nothing more than an extra obstacle. You face challenges every day, some more easily solvable than others, and finding what works for you will be a process of trial and error. The suggestions above are a great start, but you’ll find what works for you and may have to tweak it a few times, and that’s completely okay.

Charles Carpenter

 



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Using Music Therapy To Help Adults With ADHD


January 14th, 2018

When people think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they often think of children. That’s partially because it’s easier to diagnose in young people. However, there are many adults who suffer from ADHD as well. If you are one of these, you need to know about a growing area of treatment known as music therapy that can help you better manage your attention, memory, and mood. Read on to learn more about this treatment option.

 

Music Therapy Defined
The Center for Music Therapy explains that this treatment option affects the human brain positively by using different kinds of music. Your brain controls your entire body, which is why disorders like ADHD become such a problem. Music reaches the brain through your ears and helps change things slightly. The rhythm in music can regulate breathing and promote the release of brain chemicals like endorphins. It can also help with relaxation and stress reduction, both of which can help an adult with ADHD have stronger self-control.

What is music therapy used for? The University of New Hampshire shows that it helps with a number of neurological, emotional, and behavioral problems. Depression, anxiety, dementia, and ADHD can all be improved through the use of music. While there are music therapists that can directly help an adult better manage their ADHD issues, this is one treatment that can be done at home.

Music To Fit Different Needs
The key is to add music to your daily life. For example, most alarm clocks and phones will let you wake up to music, which is a great way to start your day. Commuting to and from work is a great time to use some headphones and enjoy some songs. Music can really help you stay motivated when you’re exercising or doing chores, and you can squeeze in a few tunes as you get ready for bed.

But what kind of music should you be listening to? That depends on your needs at the moment. Organic Soul recommends that you match the energy and speed of a song to what you’re doing. If you need to relax, play some calm music with slow, steady beats. Instrumental songs are often best for relaxation as well. If you need to stay motivated, play something with high energy and a faster beat. Your mood tends to match what music you are listening to, so you can even help become happier by listening to upbeat songs.

This can help you focus despite your ADHD, but it can also help even out your energy levels. If you are feeling too excited or active, listen to a relaxing song. If you are feeling the opposite, listen to something that sparks your energy. And to help you stay focused, try instrumental tunes with a strong and steady rhythm. Just avoid songs with lyrics, as your ADHD can have you listening to the words more than focusing on the task at hand.

Making Music Also Helps

You don’t have to just listen to music to gain the benefits of music therapy. There is a strong body of research showing how learning to make music helps your brain. You can learn easier, develop stronger social skills, boost your self-esteem, and it can help you become more disciplined. That can be especially good for your ADHD.

One great instrument to learn how to play is the saxophone. There are many different types of saxophones on the market, so the buying guide at WWBW.com can help you pick the one that’s right for you. Chances are, you want to start with a student saxophone because that version is easier to play. Once you’ve mastered the basics and realize how much making music can help with your ADHD, you can look into more professional models.

Music Therapy Can Help

While music cannot replace the need for medication or therapy, it can definitely help you control your ADHD and feel better in general. Match the tempo and energy of a song to your activity to help stay focused, and look into purchasing a saxophone to enjoy all the benefits of making music.

Charles Carpenter of Healing Sounds



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The Significance of Protein in an ADHD Diet


February 6th, 2014

Protein is an important part of the human diet. This nutrient contains the long-chain amino acids that the body needs to repair itself. Every day, our bodies can go through normal wear and tear, but it can easily be repaired using protein we get from our diet. Some people, like body builders, drink a whey protein shake everyday (or more) so they can continuously repair their muscles and increase their size. However, science has also recently discovered that protein could be good in lessening the symptoms of certain conditions. In particular, children and adults who suffer from ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could greatly benefit from consuming extra protein, which is why it is one of the components of an ADHD Diet. Let’s first take a look what is an ADHD diet and how protein plays a part in it.

What is the ADHD Diet?

ADHD is a type of disorder where a person’s brain cannot focus on a single task. The three common symptoms of ADHD are: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are medications that help lower these symptoms, but doctors have recently discovered that adhering to a certain diet can also help. The ADHD diet, which requires less caffeine, sugar, and complex carbohydrates, plus high protein is said to help curb these symptoms and help the person function better.

How is Protein Significant in an ADHD Diet?

One of the components of the ADHD diet is consuming high amounts of protein. That means the child or adult should take beans, eggs, nuts, and meats. A whey protein shake could also help, if the person simply does not have time to prepare or access to proteins. Proteins can help the person with ADHD in different ways.

First, the neurons in the brain need protein in order for them to function properly. Neurons are special cells in the brain that transmit nerve impulses, which tell the body what to do. These neurons are partly made of protein, so by providing the brain with more protein, the brain can repair any damaged neurons and ensure they work properly.

Next, consuming protein can aid with medication. As mentioned earlier, there are medicines that can help with the symptoms of ADHD, like Adder all and Ritalin (the two most common ADHD medicines). However, studies have shown that eating more protein can help the body absorb the medication more efficiently and take effect faster.

Finally, taking protein also produces and amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine, in turn, produces dopamine and nor epinephrine, which can help balance energy levels and improve alertness.

How Can You Take More Protein

So, if you or someone you love has ADHD, how can you make sure you eat a lot of protein in your diet? Well, you don’t have to stick to eating meat all the time. While red meat is a good source of protein, there are other better sources. For example, nuts and green leafy vegetables actually contain a lot of protein. Also, you could try drinking a whey protein shake. By drinking a whey protein shake every day, you can increase your protein intake efficiently. With modern science, ADHD has become more manageable, but people who have this condition should also be mindful of their diet to help curb the symptoms so they can live a more normal life.

 

Gloria MillerGloria B. Miller graduated in 2001 from the University of Michigan with a degree in business administration. After working for her family business for 4 years, she decided to take a world tour for 1 year, where she discovered her love of travel and writing. She decided to go back to school and get her journalism degree from the University of Florida. After working in Washington for 2 years, she moved back to her home town of Troy to pursue a freelance writing career. You can read her blogs at www.energyfirst.com follow her on Facebook & Twitter.

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9 ADD Friendly Foods to Improve Memory


November 19th, 2013

The following guest post is from Pete of liveningup.com

If you’re one of the millions of people in the world who has ever found your television remote in the freezer or searched frantically for your car keys before locating them in your pocket, then you may be able to benefit from the following foods.  All of these have been scientifically proven to improve your memory and keep you sharp. The following nine foods will boost your memory and keep your brain working at its peak for years to come.

  • Oil-Based Salad Dressing   

Many people automatically associate the word ‘oil’ with unhealthy eating habits primarily because we’ve always been told that oils and fats are bad for us. However, there are plenty of reasons why oil-based salad dressing can improve your memory. Most of the oils that are used in salad dressings are incredibly high in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant known to protect the cells in the brain from damage and keep mental faculties sharp for long periods of time. Something fascinating to consider is that scientific studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that these benefits do not exist when Vitamin E is taken as a supplement. It must be consumed in food.

  • Fish 

Most of the fish that you can find in your local market contains what are known as omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. These contain a substance known as DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, which is crucial for allowing the neurons in the brain to function normally. Essentially, fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel can help to make sure that your brain works at full function. Of course, you should be sure that you eat fish like this in moderation because it also contains a substance known as mercury which can be toxic if consumed in great quantities. Never fear, though: the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish outweigh the trace amount of mercury found in standard 2oz serving sizes.

  • Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens are one of the best sources of Vitamin E, the antioxidant that is also found in healthy oils. Some of the best choices include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and other similar foods. A half cup of cooked spinach contains 25% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E on its own! These vegetables also contain folate, a substance that is also known to protect the brain although the reasons how or why remain unclear. It is thought that the folate breaks down a substance that triggers the death of nerve cells in the brain.

  • Avocados

Everyone underestimates the power of the yummy, creamy avocado. Not only does it contain Vitamin E, it is also a great source of Vitamin C. When these are consumed in conjunction with one another, they are more easily processed by the body and have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – one of the leading causes of memory loss in adults. Avocado can be eaten right from the peel or added to sandwiches and other dishes as well. It’s a truly versatile food that is just as good for you as it is delicious.

  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter

While you’ve likely been told that peanuts and peanut butter contain a lot of oil and fat, these are of the healthy variety as long as this nut and its products are consumed in moderation. They are packed with Vitamin E and healthy fats which improve both brain and heart function. Peanuts and peanut products have long been researched and scientific evidence shows that consuming peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds in moderation can go a long way toward protecting existing brain cells and helping in the creation of new ones.

  • Berries 

Berries are truly miracle foods in that they offer up tons of valuable substances that your brain can use to improve function and thereby memory. Blueberries, strawberries and the lesser-known acai berry can help to protect the brain’s ability to correctly file away and store information. Not only does this help to improve your memory right away, but it can protect your brain over the long term and help to reduce the effects aging has on your brain. Essentially, the antioxidants in the berries help to remove the proteins floating around in your bloodstream that can lodge in your brain and cause memory loss.

  • Whole Grains

Finally, you should always remember all of the benefits that whole grains provide. Scientific studies have shown that people who consume large amounts of whole grains on a regular basis (such as those who consume Mediterranean diets) are able to prevent mild cognitive impairment that may later develop into Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is important to make sure that other healthy foods are consumed along with whole grains in order for them to do their jobs as intended. For instance, a lunch of whole wheat bread and a side of berries is a great, healthy choice.

Absent-mindedness, lack of concentration and the inability to remember simple details can certainly become frustrating, but eating the right foods can help stop this cognitive impairment in its tracks. Remember that you should always boost your healthy diet by staying hydrated, too! Dehydration is one of the leading causes of temporary memory loss and it is easily remedied by consuming at least 64oz of water each and every day.

For more tips on ADD and Nutrition, you can read my article on Treating ADD With Brain Boosting Nutrients.

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How to Improve Communication With Your ADHD Partner


September 29th, 2013

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW

The great Carl Jung once said that “Loneliness doesn’t come from having no one around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that are important to you.”  Although this is a universal truth,  in the case of those who have ADHD, communication can certainly be a bigger obstacle to intimacy than to those who do not.  Not only for the person who has ADHD, but for the partner who may feel that they are never being heard.

 

Over the past 13 years of counseling couples in which one partner had ADHD, I have heard numerous complaints. Many of the challenges are quite common amongst individuals whose partners have ADHD, but the single biggest complaint I hear over and over again is that, “My ADHD partner does not appear to be listening to me.” Good communication is probably the single most important element that constitutes a healthy thriving relationship.  When one partner in a relationship feels that they are not being heard (regardless of the reason) all kinds of resentment and anger can build.  Often the non-ADHD spouse feels uncared for, or even disrespected because their ADHD partner may seem to zone out, pay them “lip service” or not respond at all.  If they are aware of how their partner’s ADHD is affecting their ability to pay attention (and most of them are) they may be able to objectify it and even understand it, but at the end of the day, they are still not able to resolve the problem.  Many of these couples have been through the diagnosis stage, the education stage and the medication stage, and still the same problems around communication persists.  By the time they come to see me, many of these couples are feeling hopeless, exhausted, frustrated, beat up, misunderstood and angry.  They just want solutions that will make it better or they want out.

 

Although re-learning old behavior patterns can be difficult, I am here to say that when both partners are willing to make changes and see it as a priority, communication can greatly improve.  To this effort, I have outlined the most important areas to consider in moving communication forward.

  • The use of ADHD Medication

Although medication is not for everyone, we do know that for about 80% of those with ADHD, medication is the single most important treatment in mitigating ADHD symptoms, especially in the area of distractibility.  For some, more than others, medication can mean a huge difference in one’s ability to be present in a conversation, as well as one’s life in general.   If your partner has been diagnosed with ADHD and is not on medication, this would be a worthwhile consideration.  If your partner is already on medication, it would be a good idea to be sure that when you want  to discuss something that is of a serious nature, that the medication is still effective and has not worn off (like at the end of the day)

  • Get your partners attention. 

Make sure to tell your partner that there is something important that you wish to discuss and find a time when he or she can devote time to the conversation.   Don’t try to fit it in while your partner is running out the door for an appointment or has limited time.  But an interesting fact that you should know is that 89% of men will assume that something is wrong if you say, “We need to talk”, as apposed to 61% of women.  So be aware that this language may induce some form of anxiety or defensiveness before you even start the conversation.  So perhaps you can let your partner know that you need some time to discuss something with in such a way that they don’t instantly feel that there is a problem.  Ask them if they would mind giving you their attention for a few minutes, or perhaps  you can  gesture to them is some way that lets them know that you wish to talk and “they are not in trouble”.    Unless of course, they are. (only kidding :))

  • Write your communication to your partner.

In some cases, you may want to write a letter or e mail to your partner so that they have time to read it, process it and consider how they want to respond without any pressure.  I would only do this in certain circumstances that are fairly straight forward and do not involve a lot of possible misinterpretation.  Most communication is non-verbal in nature, so remember that when you write, the other person is not hearing voice inflection or seeing your body language.  This can lead to miscommunication.  So be careful when and how you choose to use written communication.

For the ADHD Partner

Remember that your partner has probably experienced months or years of feeling hurt or frustrated because you have a long history of not giving them your attention when wanting to talk.  He or she may have felt that you were not interested in what they had to say or that you do not value them as a partner.  For this reason, you must

  • Make the extra effort to recognize the importance of paying attention when your partner is speaking to you.  This may mean that you need to set aside some activity that you may be involved in at the moment or even set aside some alone time for her/him so that there won’t be any distractions.  
  • Listen to understand.  Wait until he or she is completely finished with what they are saying before you respond.  Listen to understand first, rather than to take a position of being wrong or right.  If you need some time to process what is being said, then ask for it.  But make sure that you come back to your partner with a response.  Don’t just leave them dangling.
  • Use a note pad to jot down thoughts.   Rather than interrupt your partner when speaking, you might want to jot down a word or 2 to remind you of something that you do not wish to forget when responding.  But be careful not to lose the gist of the conversation while writing a note to yourself.  Or ask your partner if he/ or she would give you a moment to take notes, so that you can turn your full attention to the conversation without being distracted.
  • Mirror back.  Before you respond to your partner, make sure you understand the meaning of what he or she has said.  A good way to do this would be to mirror back to your partner what you believe he/she has said.  So, “What I heard you say is ________.”   If you are unsure of the meaning of what he/she is saying now is the time to get clarification.  Then mirror back again.  Once your partner agrees that you understanding is correct,   you may then respond to what they are saying, having made sure that you understood the meaning of the communication accurately.  If you do this consistently, it will become automatic and greatly enhance your all round communication skills in any circumstance.   

  In conclusion, not feeling heard by your partner leads to a rather unhappy relationship.  Here are the main ideas you want to remember

  • State your intentions before the conversation to avoid defensiveness.
  • Listen to understand rather than respond.
  • Listen without interrupting.
  • Clarify your understanding of what your partner is saying (through mirroring).
  • Avoid being demeaning or confrontational.
  • And lastly, try using humor, love and/or empathy.

Leslie is a holistic therapist working in South Florida who specializes in working with adults with ADHD. If you would like more information about her work sign up for her free Newsletter at www.ADDadults.net.

 

 

 

 

 



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The Shocking Truth About Developing Good Habits (part 1)


August 31st, 2013

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW

Are you a person who believes that you always do what you intend to do?  Most people would probably answer yes.  However, despite what you may believe,  research shows that the majority of people, do not.  In fact, most individuals have far less control then they believe they do.  As frustrating as this may be, there are ways of establishing good habits and overcoming those existing ones that seem to get in our way.  But first let’s look at how habits are formed, as well as the obstacles we face in overcoming the existing ones that prevent us from achieving our goals. 

It has often been said that it takes 3 weeks of repeating a behavior for it to become a habit.  However, when looking into this further, I discovered that this is actually not true.  In most cases, it takes much longer.  (WEW! That sure let’s me off the hook for all those times I thought I would  have it down in a month’s time, only to discover that I had not.)  In fact, it was discovered in a recent study that for most habits to become automatic, one must perform them repeatedly for an average of 66 days and in many other cases (depending on the particular activity) longer than 84.  In this same study, it was discovered that some (more difficult habits) took as much as 254 days to form, which is the better part of a year.  It’s no wonder so many of us are unable to keep our New Year’s Resolutions.  

Since helping individuals to develop and enforce good habits, is part of my work as a coach, I understand the importance of developing well intentioned habits as being vital to ones success in reaching ones goals.  In this effort, I did some research and discovered some perplexing studies about our habits and why it is often so difficult to do what we intend. 

Have you ever tried to change a particular behavior only to realize that it was not as easy as you thought?  How many times have you said you wanted to lose weight, exercise daily, quit smoking, change jobs, or cut down on drinking?  What do you suppose the success rate was for the average person? Studies have shown that for the majority of people who attempt to change their behavior, old strongly held habits dominated their conscious choices.  This is because it is not our conscious mind that is in the drivers seat.  In fact, it is the power of the unconscious mind that influences all of our thinking and behavior.  Our strong established habits will automatically override our conscious intentions in most cases.  Now, combine that fact with the length of time it takes to form a strong habit, it is easy to see just how difficult it can be to establish new habits on any consistent basis. 

This being the case, what’s the answer to this frustrating phenomena?  How do we overcome the unconscious programming of our minds, when we are not even consciously aware of them and why don’t our habits surrender to our conscious intentions?   Consider these 4 essential characteristics of habits;

  1. Habits are performed automatically, without much need for decision- making or thought. 
  2. Habits are emotionless.
  3. Habits are performed in context to other things. (That is, they are  situational.) 
  4. Habits serve a purpose and/or provide us with something. (consciously or unconsciously)      

So, in considering what it is we want to do, versus what we actually do, the first thing we need to notice is the behaviors supporting our existing habits.  By observing how, when and where we perform these automatic activities we get vital hints as to  what is actually happening in the unconscious mind.  Since our unconscious mind is constantly carrying out all kinds of high-level thinking that we are unaware of, as well as unable to access through our ordinary thought process, it would make sense that we would have to consider alternate ways to do this.   One of the ways that assist us in accessing our unconscious mind is in asking the right questions about our process.   Another way to access this hidden part of our mind is through the use of NLP or hypnosis.  In fact, some of the quickest changes I have seen have come out of using all three of these modalities.  

In my next newsletter article I will explore the answers further and assist in providing some solutions to this very difficult dilemma. 

If you have experiences with overcoming or establishing new habits that you would like to share, please let me know. I am always interested in hearing  and learning from other’s experiences. 

Leslie is a holistic therapist working in South Florida who specializes in the treatment of ADD in adults. If you would like more information about her work or more help with ADD,  sign up for her free newsletter at www.ADDadults.net.

 

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The Shocking Truth About Developing Good Habits (part 2)


July 31st, 2013

In my last Newsletter I explored how the unconscious mind dictates much of our automatic behaviors, making it very difficult to break old patterns of behavior and establish new habits.  In this article, I will explore this further and provide a useful exercise that taps into our unconscious resources while reinforcing the development of a new habit.

The first step to changing our behavior in many ways begins with the awareness and power of the unconscious mind.  Although there are many ways to do this, the following is an exercise that is easy to do alone (or with a partner) and is designed to tap into the power of the unconscious mind.  Take the time to answer the following questions and write them down on a piece of paper.

Answer the following series of questions;Why do you want to develop this habit? Since motivation is key to beginning any new habit, being clear about why we wish to establish a new habit, makes it is easier for us to consider making a change in our pattern of behavior.  Be as specific as you can. How will it benefit your life?

What will you see that will be different?

How will you feel once this habit has been established?

What will you hear?

What will you notice about how others interact with you differently?

Include your health, your sense of mental well-being, your physical appearance, your social life, your work life, your family life, and any other aspect that might be affected in a positive manner in considering this.

  • How will not developing this habit impact your life?

In answering this, be very specific as to how your life will be negatively impacted by not developing this habit.  Use the same criteria that you used when considering all the benefits.

  • What steps will you need to take to develop this habit?

Break down all the actions steps.  Again, be very specific as to each step along the way.  What time will you perform this habit?  Under what circumstances? What will be the context under which you will perform this habit? In what sequence will it be performed.  The idea of context and sequence is vital here.  For example when I am in a particular place or circumstance, I will do __________.   Sequence is more about the order of how you will do something.  For example, as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I will brush my teeth and then go for a jog.   Thereby giving your mind the context under which you will perform the habit, but also the sequence in which you will do it.

  • What obstacles can you foresee yourself facing in developing this habit? And
  • How will you compensate for those obstacles?

Here are two of the most important parts to consider.  If we don’t consider the obstacles that we will face and plan for them, when they appear, we will most likely defer back to our old habits since it is easier and they are always waiting to take over our automatic unconscious process.  Therefore, in planning for any obstacles, we are already mapping out a plan for our mind to follow when encountering any hurdles.  For example, when I get up in the morning I will brush my teeth, then  I will go for a jog, unless it is raining.  In the event of it raining, I will go to the gym and exercise on a tread mill, instead.

 

The last part of this exercise is to visualize the entire process from beginning to end, since the unconscious mind sees things in pictures.   See yourself performing the habit in the context that you will be doing it.  Notice every step that you will take along the way.  Notice what you do in the event of an obstacle. Visualize yourself already having established this habit 6 months into the future and notice how this new behavior has impacted every single aspect of your life. Then look back over the past 6 months and notice all the steps you took along the way and any of the obstacles that you needed to overcome to establish this new habit.   Make a special note of how you handled those obstacles.  Savor the good feelings that arise from this visualization and allow yourself to enjoy those feelings.   You may be surprised at what comes up for you during this visualization process.  Sometimes, an obstacle that you never even thought about appears, or some other vital piece of information presents itself to you that you never considered. Use this information to make any adjustments or changes to your mind map.  Run the process through again, having made these adjustments.  Now bring yourself back to the present moment and begin the process, exactly as you envisioned it with any adjustments so that it feels right for you.  Repeat this process a few times over the next few days, if needed.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

 

Leslie is a holistic therapist and ADD couch practicing in South Florida.  If you would like more information about her work or more help with ADD, sign up for her free newsletter at www.ADDadults.net .

 

 



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Mystery Schools of the Western Mystery Tradition


July 31st, 2013

The following is a guest post by author, teacher and founder of the Euypsychia Institute.

By Jacquelyn Small

“Robbed of its mystical tradition, an outer system  is like a rose without its perfume.”                                                                                                               – Esoteric Historian Caitlin Matthews

During times of rapid change and radical uncertainty, such as we are experiencing today, an inner process activates to link us back to the wisdom of our ancestors and open the way to the gods. Throughout history, the esoteric Mystery Schools are the preservers of this sacred inner wisdom, transmitted afresh for every Age.  The Ancient Wisdom teaches us the sacred meaning and purpose of our spiritual/human lives, and how to read the symbolic realities, which reside closer to our Source than our ordinary intellectual understanding does.  Our intuition knows this deeper work quite well, though our intellects often don’t have a clue!  So we just need to be reminded. 

A sacred Mystery is not just a lofty idea; it is a spiritual event – like a death and rebirth experience – which creates a shift in our psyches and moves us to a new place in consciousness. The ancient Mystery Schools are the timeless reliable “technicians of human consciousness” that restore the balance between our outer and inner realities anytime we start to run off-track. Mystery Schools are here for “old souls” who come together to help manifest a certain aspect of the evolutionary process for the sake of the world.  They are the inner side of “tribes” who come together to live in a different dimension of higher consciousness than we rarely experience in our ordinary daily lives.  And this Ageless Wisdom cannot really be taught; it can only be caught — gleaned from the crucible of each one’s own committed desire to become “a seeker on the Path,” and to remember who we truly are – spiritual beings living in an oh-so-human world. 

This time-honored esoteric wisdom is the ground floor of all the true religions and philosophies that have impacted our world. Its sacred knowledge holds steady a unitive consciousness that honors all spiritual paths and supports the inviolable laws of the universe.  Yet, our brave ancestors who were the guardians of the Ancient Wisdom often had to remain hidden as a matter of life and death, because the Ageless Wisdom teachings were forbidden by the early Fathers of the Orthodox Church.  This timeless wisdom of the subjective and higher worlds shows us how to access God directly without any outer religious authority’s indispensable demand for a priest or a holy mediator.  You can see why this was a threat to the Church authorities. 

When honored and followed as truth, these teachings imbue our lives with magic, enhanced creativity, and a sense of sacred purpose to our human lives.  And today, this spiritual path of Self-realization — known as ‘the Path’, or ‘the Way’ — is open to all who seek knowledge of this esoteric inner work, regardless of creed or religion.The metaphysical Sacred Arts of the Western Mystery Tradition are the “tools of the trade” for this deeper way of knowing ourselves and our world.  These sacred technologies include high magic, numerology, Tarot, sacred geometry, esoteric astrology, shamanistic soul retrieval, Native and Celtic rites of passage, alchemy, esoteric psychology and healing, Gnosticism or Mystical Christianity, the Mystery of the Holy Grail, Ancient Greek Pageantry, Mythical Symbology, Goddess Invocations, and Pathwork of the Jewish Kabbalah’s eternal Tree of Life.  There are more, I’m sure, but these are the ones I am familiar with. 

I am a teacher of Tarot, numerology, and esoteric psychology, trained by advanced Initiates in the Hermetic Orders of the Golden Dawn, the Builders of the Adytum, and the Theosophical teachings of the Master Djwhal Khul through the writings of Alice Ann Bailey. Eupsychia’s work is part of the Group of World Servers with a specific purpose of helping heal humanity’s emotional body that has been damaged by the conditions we’ve all undergone while living here on Earth.  Our work helps us heal and awaken to our whole nature, which is both human and divine.  I have been guided in doing this Eupsychia work for over 35 years. Musical breathwork is one of the most efficient and simple methods for entering into this blessed inner work. The word “Eupsychia” means “psyche’s well-being” in Greek.   

In the 4-day Eupsychia Mystery School, I teach you to read the Tarot cards and to understand their higher symbolic meanings, which gives you the wisdom of the 7 powers we have as God-made human beings; knowledge of the 7 law of the universe that guide our awakening process while here on Earth; and carries us through the first Initiations we undergo as seekers on the Path of Return to our Source. You will also learn to read the symbolic realities of number, the 12 astrological houses, and geometric design. You will leave this program able to do Tarot readings for yourself and others, based in the deepest understanding of who we are, and what our current task or issue is for our unfolding personal selves. The lineage of the Western Mystery Tradition can be traced back to Atlantis, Eden, ancient Sumeria, and the paradisal arctic Hyperboreans.  Some of the following may serve as a reminder of your soul’s own former training and ancestry:

.  the Greek Eleusinain and Orphic schools who utilized pageantry and ecstatic non-ordinary states to access the mystery of death/rebirth, art, and beauty; 

.  the Egyptian Hermeticists or Initiates of Isis and Osiris with their specific techniques for translating wisdom from the higher worlds into ordinary life, often through the arts; 

.  the Persian Zoroastrians known for battling the tension of the opposites of good and evil, or the higher and lower worlds; 

.  the Celtic Orders who sought the Mystery of Middle Earth and the Mystery of the Grail; 

.  the Knights of the Templar who were sacrificed by the Romans for their belief in spiritual knowledge transmitted directly; 

.  the Gnostic Christians and Essenes who underwent the Christian initiations and knew the real Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the true mission of The Christ who teaches us to ‘Know Thyself’; 

.  the Jewish mystics, begetters of the sacred Kabbalah and its eternal Tree of Life that teaches us the Divine Plan, “As above, so below”;

.  the Alchemists who created the philosopher’s stone, or the center of the Self, by ‘turning lead into gold’ through a purifying process of turning one’s shadow nature into light;

.  the Goddess Traditions of Greece and  Rome, that teach us the inner qualities and rites of passage of the unfolding feminine principle essential to balance masculine power and authority; A re-emergence of this great metaphysical Tradition is occurring now for today’s troubled world.  So you may be feeling the Call to re-unite with your own inner terrestrial/celestial lineage, pre-coded in your DNA. All this knowledge and wisdom already resides within you, only to be accessed by psycho-spiritual processes and the symbolic Sacred Arts that can reach deeply enough into your unconscious mind to access your very essence.

If this work is something that moves you, please consider joining us in our Mystery School work.

Warmest love, 

Jacquelyn 

 

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May Thought for the Month


April 30th, 2013

“Don’t identify too strongly with what you now know; that “truth” is impermanent.  Identify with the possibility that at every moment you can emerge from your blind self to see in the dark.”

                                                                        _Carl A. Hammerschlag, MD 

 

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The ADDer’s Guide to Spring Cleaning


April 30th, 2013

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW

It’s that time of the year to consider those spring cleaning projects.  Clean out your closet?  Maybe it’s the garage or attic that needs to be cleaned?   Or perhaps it’s just all those dresser or kitchen drawers that seem to have accumulated mounds of clutter.  Where does all that STUFF in my night table come from anyway? 

When I consider all the possibilities, it might seem like an Adder’s biggest nightmare.  But in truth, it really doesn’t have to be.  There are several ways that one can go about successfully tackling spring cleaning projects, despite having ADD.  This article explores some of those ways to be consistently more productive and to get those spring projects done.

Get Motivated.   Without motivation, many projects or tasks may seem difficult to even start, no less finish.  Consider all the reasons why this particular spring cleaning project is important.  Do you need to make more room for something you cherish in your garage or closet for example?  Or maybe the idea of having more order to your life reminds you that you can save a lot of time looking for items that are buried under mounds of clutter.  Get clear about the value of completing these projects and how it will positively affect your life.  And keep those reasons in your mind.  You might even consider making a list of all the benefits and posting it somewhere near the project location so that you will be reminded of the benefits. 

Know your engagement threshold and use it to your advantage!  What does this mean exactly?   Your engagement threshold is the longest amount of time you can consistently work, while staying focused on a particular project without being distracted or losing interest.  In addition, you will need to be able to evaluate how long you will actually need to accomplish the project being considered.  Since individuals with ADD often have difficulty estimating how long a project will take, try adding a cushion of about 50% more time than you think just in case, to cover yourself.  If the task takes less time, than you may be delighted to find you have a bit of unexpected extra time for yourself at the end of the project. 

Make an action plan.   How specifically will you accomplish this goal?  What are your specific action  steps?  For example, if cleaning out your closet, it might look like this;

  • Empty the entire closet    (30 minutes)                                                                                                                              
  • Separate items by type of clothing ( 1 hour)
  • Have 4  boxes ready to sort all items
    • One box for donating to charity
    • One box for shoes and bags
    • One box for clothing
    • One box for items that you may want to discard
    • Re- hang all remaining clothing items by type and color ( 1 hour)
    • Re-fold and place clothing on shelves (1 hour)
    • Organize placement of shoes and hand bags on shelves ( 30 minutes)

 

Schedule the time to do it.  Here’s an important piece of information for you to think about.  I know that many individuals with ADD think that the only way to get something done is to break it down into small action steps.  Maybe I will do 30 minutes here and another 30 minutes there.  This is true for some smaller projects but here’s the thing you need to consider.  Every time you transition in and out of a particular activity, you lose A LOT of time, which means you lose a lot of productivity.  For this reason, it is important to know the limits of your upper most threshold and set aside the time that most reflects that threshold.  If you only have 30 minutes here- and- there, you will never start those larger projects that require sustained attention and effort over a longer period of time, because you already know that you will never get enough done to make any difference.  So why even bother to start?   In addition, if you only have 30 minutes here and there, you will most likely end up checking e mails, going on Facebook and surfing the web, since not much else can be done in such short amount of time.  Those are actually appropriate actions to take in a 30 minute window, but they will never provide you with what you need to get those larger projects done.  

So, that having been said, knowing your engagement threshold, make sure to set aside the appropriate amount of time to get a good chunk of the project completed.  Consider those times that you have the most energy and ability to focus.  If you know that your Adderall wears off at 6:00 PM, don’t start that project at 5:00 PM just because that’s the time you get home from work.   If you are a morning person, don’t start that project in the afternoon. 

Work with your schedule and block it off your calendar.  If you don’t make an appointment with yourself, you may possibly procrastinate and put off starting the project all together.  Sound familiar?  

Don’t Be a Perfectionist.  Many people with ADD get caught in doing such a perfect job that they lose sight of the big picture.  So make a point of not getting stuck in the tiny minutia.  Do as much as you can as quickly as possible until the job is complete.  You can always go back AFTER it is finished to make it EVEN better, if you so desire.   It’s more important to complete the project in a timely fashion.  So work quickly and continue working till completion.  

Work with a Body Double or Professional Organizer.   For many people with ADD, having someone there to work with them, while keeping them on track can be extremely helpful.  Find a friend or family member who would be willing to assist.  Or, if you desire (or can) hire a professional organizer to work with you on the project.

Avoid Distractions.  Turn off the phone, television, or any other distraction that could interfere with your completing your project.  Once you get started, have a “ DO NOT DISTURB” sign placed outside the door of where you are, and unless there’s an emergency, tell your family, not to disturb you for your allotted amount of time.  Take this commitment seriously and other’s will too. 

Make It Fun and Interesting   Have fun music playing or have your friends come over and help.  Discover ways to make it interesting by using timers, or creating some kind of challenge that keeps it interesting. Provide yourself with a special reward when you have completed the project.    Bet your partner or a friend that you will complete the project by a certain time or else………. (You get the idea)

And one last thing, after you read this article, don’t just put it down and consider the ideas.  Take the time to actually write down and plan your spring cleaning project, as you follow each step above.  Imagine that it is already completed and see it in your mind’s eye.   Envision yourself having completed the task and imagine and enjoy the feelings of having accomplished your goal. Then, take action and do exactly as you have planned and envisioned.   As the great Tony Robbins once said, “In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action”.  

 

Leslie is an ADD coach and therapist in South Florida.  To read more of her articles or to sign up for her free Newsletter, you may go to www.ADDadults.net.

 

 

 

 

 



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