Thursday, March 12, 2015

Don't Take Things Personally

I needed a reminder lately, which my husband gave me and I am so grateful - and that is "don't take things personally Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally."

Nothing other people do is because of us. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own world, in their own mind. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world. I am the first to admit that I make that assumption, especially when it comes to those that I care about. Not taking things personally is easier said than done

I’m certainly not there yet. I am sensitive and vulnerable to the opinions and actions of others. And I am well aware that I CAN’T control the opinions and actions of the people that I’ll run into during the day.

"Don't take things personally!" You can open your heart completely and no one can hurt you. You can love others without fear of being ignored. You can ask for what you need and don't worry about being rejected. That's easier said than done, but I'm committed to making a habit of not taking anything personally. That way I won’t need to place my trust in what others do or say. I will only need to trust myself to make responsible choices. I am never responsible for the actions of others. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to us when we take nothing personally. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

That’s not how this works



Sometimes we put our best foot forward and still we do not get the results we hope to see.  Sometimes it doesn’t all go to plan, right? It may be hard to accept common myths we have heard through repetition are in fact just that- myths.  Wasn’t it easier to accept that eating less means less fat storage?  It’s just math right?  WRONG!  That is not how this works…. That is not how any of this works. Let’s set the record straight.  It is about getting enough fat, not low fat, and a measured amount of fruit in season- not unlimited, and low calorie means low energy.

Calm down.  It is still true in weight loss that you can cast a wide net and meet the large percentage of the needs of people.  The differences are minor, compared to the similarities.  Eat healthy…Get exercise….and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.  Steady weight loss of 2.5 pounds per week leads to realistic goals and success.  However, just as common is seeing a weight loss plateau or seeing weight stabilize before we have met our goal? Change things up.

Quick Tips:

You are unique and the triggers to your weight loss and gain are based on you and…

                YOUR response to your environment- both internal and external.
                YOUR genes have something to do with you fitting into YOUR jeans!

YOUR response to the foods you eat and in what combination.

1) Just like we used to believe cardio was the solution to weight loss, we were wrong.   Now we know that “chug….chug…. chug…” on the treadmill is nowhere near as beneficial as timed sprints for short burst of high intensity work.  Follow those burst with a calculated amount of rest and you have a winning combination for fat loss.  Both plans work, however sprints change things up and accelerate your results.  Faster results produce increased feelings of reward and are followed by motivation.

2) Genetic “switches” can be flipped off as we age.  As a consequence we see an increase in waistlines and chronic disease risk factors that do not response to methods for healthy weight and energy like we did before the age of 30.  By the age of 45 this enzyme is far more sluggish and may have sent the message to your body there is “no hope”.   If you have suffered with weight challenges in youth, then this enzyme is not as functional potentially due to being over-fed and undernourished.  Antioxidants like trans-resveratrol, Chlorogenic Acid and certain botanicals can re-activate enzymes responsible for youthful vitality.

3) Stop thinking about the fat and calorie content of foods you eat. Start thinking about eating food in its natural state, ensuring its nutrient density by eating local, when possible.  More fat, protein and fiber will help you not just whittle your waist, but will help you sustain energy for your workouts (including sprints).

4) Exercise less, not more.  20 minutes of clear and focused movements will out do a mindless 40 minutes.  You can increase fat loss and improve longevity by focusing on functional movements and core efforts.  Functional training can be done either at home, or in a gym.  I recommend getting a qualified trainer to help you put a program together based on your conditioning goals.

5) Make sure you take stock in how you are feeling and how well you are sleeping.  Restorative sleep may be the most important step you are missing.  Amino acids like Tryptophan and minerals like magnesium can assist your body into better sleep and balance of neurotransmitters for better mood, energy and mental focus.

You might practice each step above, or only a choice few.   Your results will be in line with your commitment.  Small steps lead to big changes.  Start taking steps today toward better health and better fitness.

(Article by Dr Deedra Mason, Director of Clinical Education and Research at Market America)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Create Your Wellness Plan

Imagine you’re living your ideal life, where your health is a 10/10, your physique, weight, body mass, muscle mass, energy and fitness level is a 10/10, and your lifestyle is a 10/10 as well, what would it look like? I'd like to encourage you to create your wellness plan based on that vision, and set practical short and medium term goals to get you moving toward your long-term health, total wellness and weight goals. The key is to create foundational, positive, and sustainable change, not quick fix.





You can do that by writing down on a piece of paper, type on your notepad or word document what key milestones, whether it's body fat % or weight loss, behavior modifications, nutrition, or fitness, do you wish to change? These will be the goals that YOU set for YOURSELF. Then, based on YOUR goals, set YOUR OWN action steps towards healthy living plan.


Also it's important to know your body. Many people are only concerned about measuring their weight and/or count calories. You need to also find out your body fat percentage, visceral fat (fat that we can't see that surrounds vital organs), bone mass, water percentage, muscle mass, physique rating, even metabolic age to get the most accurate representations of your body.




I’m excited to officially launch my lifestyle coaching career specializing in helping people with their weight and wellness goals. And today is day 1 of the 14-Day Wellness & Weight Management Challenge where more than 30 participants through my facebook page start the journey of improving their health to reach their wellness and weight goals in January 2015, and beyond.

Create Your Wellness Plan For The Next 14 Days
Step #1: For the next few minutes, imagine you’re living your ideal life, where your health is a 10/10, your physique, weight, body mass, muscle mass, energy and fitness level is a 10/10, and your lifestyle is a 10/10 as well.
Step #2: Set practical goals for these 14 days, to get you moving toward your long-term health goals. This 14-Day Challenge is meant to get you started toward your wellness and weight goals. The keyword is ‘start’, and we’re aiming to create foundational, positive, and sustainable change, not quick fix.
Step #3: Write down on a piece of paper, or type on your notepad / word document what key milestones, whether it’s body fat % / weight loss, behavior modifications, nutrition, energy level or fitness, do you wish to change? These will be the goals that YOU set for YOURSELF. Then, based on YOUR goals, set YOUR OWN action steps towards healthy living plan from 12 Jan to 26 Jan. So what would they be? Comment below – there is power in sharing and peer support.
TIP
It’s important to know your body. Many people only concern about measuring their weight and/or count calories. You need to also find out your body fat percentage, visceral fat (fat that we can’t see that surrounds vital organs), bone mass, water percentage, muscle mass, physique rating, even metabolic age to get the most accurate representations of your body. You can get the measurements for these by using a “Tanita Scale”.
What is your health goals for the next 14 days? What are your action steps for success? What does your 14-Day wellness and healthy living plan look like? Share them with everyone here. :)

1 Comment


  • Kitty
    January 11, 2015
    I’m so excited to facilitate and also participate in this challenge, will keep you posted on my progress through this blog and the facebook event page.

Leave A Response

- See more at: http://transformandgrowrich.com/wellnesschallenge/#sthash.RLJOkrLx.dpuf
I’m excited to officially launch my lifestyle coaching career specializing in helping people with their weight and wellness goals. And today is day 1 of the 14-Day Wellness & Weight Management Challenge where more than 30 participants through my facebook page start the journey of improving their health to reach their wellness and weight goals in January 2015, and beyond.

Create Your Wellness Plan For The Next 14 Days
Step #1: For the next few minutes, imagine you’re living your ideal life, where your health is a 10/10, your physique, weight, body mass, muscle mass, energy and fitness level is a 10/10, and your lifestyle is a 10/10 as well.
Step #2: Set practical goals for these 14 days, to get you moving toward your long-term health goals. This 14-Day Challenge is meant to get you started toward your wellness and weight goals. The keyword is ‘start’, and we’re aiming to create foundational, positive, and sustainable change, not quick fix.
Step #3: Write down on a piece of paper, or type on your notepad / word document what key milestones, whether it’s body fat % / weight loss, behavior modifications, nutrition, energy level or fitness, do you wish to change? These will be the goals that YOU set for YOURSELF. Then, based on YOUR goals, set YOUR OWN action steps towards healthy living plan from 12 Jan to 26 Jan. So what would they be? Comment below – there is power in sharing and peer support.
TIP
It’s important to know your body. Many people only concern about measuring their weight and/or count calories. You need to also find out your body fat percentage, visceral fat (fat that we can’t see that surrounds vital organs), bone mass, water percentage, muscle mass, physique rating, even metabolic age to get the most accurate representations of your body. You can get the measurements for these by using a “Tanita Scale”.
What is your health goals for the next 14 days? What are your action steps for success? What does your 14-Day wellness and healthy living plan look like? Share them with everyone here. :)

1 Comment


  • Kitty
    January 11, 2015
    I’m so excited to facilitate and also participate in this challenge, will keep you posted on my progress through this blog and the facebook event page.

Leave A Response

- See more at: http://transformandgrowrich.com/wellnesschallenge/#sthash.RLJOkrLx.dpuf

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Motives Cosmetics Online Party



If you are interested in hosting a Motives Online Party, or Home Beauty Workshop, please contact me on kitpingcheng@gmail.com

For more information about Motives by Loren Ridinger, go to au.motivescosmetics.com/transform2010 (within Australia); and global.com.au/transform2010 (outside of Australia).

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Shaping The Future Conference








CONFERENCE EARTH: SHAPING THE FUTURE -
shapingthefutureglobal.org
  • Focuses on how individuals and organisations can create positive change to build a better Australia.
  • There is a growing global grassroots
    movement that perceives humankind has reached a stage of development
    where old modes of thought and behaviour threaten to destroy our planet.
    We need to take action and speak out for the greater family of
    humankind who are severely compromised as well as for our future
    generations.
  • Be a part of the discussion! We invite
    you to attend and participate in our dynamic plenary sessions, panel
    discussions and hands-on workshops.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do you fear the thought of dying?


I posted this question to my friends on facebook - "Search your own heart. Yes or No - Do you fear the thought of dying?"
 
Does the thought of death scare you? From the responses, not many people are actually afraid of dying, but
afraid of not having done all the things they want to, or living to their full potential while they have the chance. As my friend Jo Raymond, the author of the book "Awakening" says, "I was not afraid to die, but I was afraid to leave." Something to think about.
 
In my mind, I would think the 'possibility' or 'threat' of dying might change a bit for me, but now I've thought of it, I'm not so sure. I searched my heart this morning. I realize that like many people, I don't really fear the thought of dying but scared that death would tear me away from my loved ones. My husband and I often say it: "What would I do without you? How could I stand it?" - even though we know God's amazing grace.

I believe that death is a transition from life to life - that is, from creation life to resurrection life. Death is a friend who will bring me through the door and into God's very arms. Like some of my friends said on facebook, "I know my destination.....I know I will be going home to Eternity with Jesus."


Personally I think a great way to prepare myself for my own death is by learning to practice solitude and mindfulness. By getting used to withdrawing and being alone with the sweet presence of God (Immanuel - God with us), and being still and know that He is God, the thought of dying will be one of expectancy, and being set free.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

My Dad & My Mindful Stop


Today is the anniversary of my beloved Dad's death. It's been more than 20 years since he left us, but I still miss him tremendously. When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it, you just learn to slowly go on without them. But always keeping them tucked safely within your heart.


Here's my mindful S.T.O.P. experience today:

S - Slow down. As I finish my day of work this afternoon and get ready to head off to a business appointment, I mindfully close my eyes and take a few deep breathes in and out as I slow down to reflect on what my Dad means to me on the anniversary of his death.

T - Take note. I start having racing thoughts about the meeting coming up and my sadness of having lost my Dad. My silent observer puts these thoughts aside.

O - Open up. Before I leave the house, I take some time out to sit in my living room couch looking at the patio outside. With a few deep breaths, I focus on appreciating the moment. I can see the winter sunlight beaming into the house, feel the warmth of the sun, hear the sound of birds tweeting, and dogs barking from next door.

P - Pursue values. In this moment, I particularly value the values that my beloved Dad had instilled in me. He was a man of courage, generosity, kindness and boldness. Most of all, I value the love that God has given me through him.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Exercise and Physical Activity


Staying active through exercise throughout the week is one of the activities I do for my Winter Wellness Workout this season. I believe that it can
improve my overall wellness, including a healthy body and state of mind, and have a positive, direct and long term benefits on my everyday life, not just for this winter, but in all seasons.
A number of studies have shown that exercise helps lift our mood and improve sleep patterns. It may also change levels of chemicals in our brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones. Doing any physical activity is better than doing nothing on most, preferably all, days of the week with the goal to accumulate to either 3-5 hours of moderate intensity, 2-3 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities weekly.

The following physical activities are great for beginners, to more advanced seasoned fitness fanatics:
  • Muscle strengthening (resistance and strength training) twice a week - strength training exercises work your muscles by applying a resistance against which the muscles need to exert a force. As a beginner, I've adopted a strength training program that involves 8 to 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body. I just do it at home with a pair of dumbbells.
  • Aerobic exercise (cardio training) including walking, jogging, zumba, cycling 3-4 times a week.
  • I've also started the total body boot camp workout & cardio workshop with FitnessBlender through their youtube videos. They also have bodyweight workouts, HIIT, Pilates, yoga, circuit training, stretching, and more; workout videos for literally every fitness level, including very beginner to incredibly advanced.

It's been well documented that regular exercise and physical activity can increase mood, self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Characteristics Of Mentally Strong People



I was reading an article through Infographic A Day things that mentally strong people do that low achievers don't, which I find very interesting and thought-provoking at the same time. These points are adapted from several blog posts featured on Forbes.com during the past month. How many of these 18 things do you have?

1. They move on. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
2. They keep control. They don’t give away their power.
3. They embrace change. They welcome challenges.
4. They stay happy. They don’t complain. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.
5. They are kind, fair, and unafraid to speak up. They don’t worry about pleasing other people.
6. They are willing to take calculated risks. They weigh the risks and benefits before taking action.
7. They invest their energy in the present. They don’t dwell on the past.
8. They accept full responsibility for their past behavior. They don’t make the same mistake over and over.
9. They celebrate other people’s success. They don’t resent that success. They also celebrate their own success.
10. They are willing to fail. They don’t give up after failing. They see every failure as a chance to improve.
11. They enjoy their time alone. They don’t fear being alone.
12. They are prepared to work and succeed on their own merits. They don’t feel the world owes them anything.
13. They have staying power. They don’t expect immediate results.
14. They evaluate their core beliefs — and modify as needed.
15. They expend their mental energy wisely. They don’t spend time on unproductive thoughts.
16. They think productively. They replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts.
17. They tolerate discomfort. They accept their feelings without being controlled by them.
18. They reflect on their progress every day. They take time to consider what they’ve achieved and where they are going.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Be Curios, Not Judgmental

We make judgments when we think we already know all we need to know. When our judgment includes strong disapproval or dislike, we become more dismissive and cynical. So, if you want to understand more about the world around you, while at the same time feeling less critical, it is important to turn your judgment into curiosity and observation.

The Biblical teaching of 'loving your enemies' is in line with shifting judgments into curiosity and observation, which helps you better understand the world. You also make better decisions if you are curious to know more, seeking to find the request for help underneath the accusation, you put yourselves in the optimal and positive position to be loving and compassionate towards yourself and others.

Let us observe and nurture curiosity instead of judge. The moment you feel judgment coming from you to others or towards you, stop it immediately.

Mother Theresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” And if you are judging yourself, how can you experience the type of self-love that can lift your spirit and bring you happiness and joy?

Spiritual Lessons From The Garden


For those of you who know me personally, you probably know that I've started contemplating the idea of learning to be a green thumb early this year (I say 'contemplating' because I have very little gardening experience). So I started planning for my gardening mission, determining what I needed for my lifeless front & back yards, including plants, tools and fertilizer to buy,
when I would arrange time to do the work. After getting advice from experienced gardeners with some important considerations such as soil quality, how much sun the area gets and what style landscape I wanted, plant selections, I started this wonderful journey!

To my pleasant surprise, in the last few months, I've not only learned the skills at planting, growing and tending the garden, I've also learned spiritual lessons from the Scripture along the way, with the parallels of different phases of gardening like weeding, planting and harvesting etc. Because of that I have found great joy in gardening as I identify with these lessons as I plant and nurture my own garden.

The followings are some spiritual lessons to be learned from working in the garden.

(1) Weeding
Weeding was the first ever activity I had to engage in when I started tending my front and back yards. Throughout the years because of lack of care, we had accumulated a lot of ugly weeds which looked awful and simply dis-pleasing to our eyes. That was originally one of the main reasons why I had determined to start the garden project. I simply could not stand the weeds anymore :p

So as I pull the weeds, which are the most prolific of all vegetation in the garden I am often reminded of my toxic thoughts. It has been said, "Weeds never sleep." They are like sins and don't take any nurturing or care to grow. They will overtake us unless their roots are yanked.

How lovely the soil looks without the presence of weeds. And yet we all know that within a matter of a few weeks, the weeds will always come back. Similarly, there are 'small weeds' that grow in our hearts, and we are unaware of them until they come back. Like toxic thoughts, weeds can creep into our lives when we don't pay attention to it.

(2) Planting
When planting from seeds, it's essential to know the exact depth to put the seeds in the good soil. If they are planted to deep, there won't be enough water to soften the shell. But if they are too shallow, the birds can easily find them and eat them. In the Scripture, there was a parable that talks about the sower who sows the seed, and the seed being the word of God. It's important to plant the word of God in our heart with the right attitude. Otherwise it would be too shallow or too deep, where the seed will either be taken away or not having enough nourishment to produce a good crop.

(3) Harvesting
Since I am new in this 'green-thumb' gardening journey, I can't say I have had a lot of experience of seeing the wonders of harvesting yet. But I can imagine even with my limited experience of growing plants, if the conditions are not right, they won't grow to maturity (and yes I had a couple of pot plants that died in the summer months due to lack of water and strong heat). So it is with our Spiritual walk. We have the responsibility to prepare our hearts, and plant the healthy thought pattern in our mind.

Another important consideration is the type of seeds that we sow into the soil of our hearts, as it determines the kind of crop we will get. Bad seeds in our lives include things such as toxic thoughts, unforgiveness and hatred etc. On the other hand,
good seeds will build up our spirit, and this is like sowing into the soil of our hearts. These good seeds in our lives include being kind to yourself and others, and being grateful for what you have and reaching out to help others in need etc.

As is my experience, it is never too late to begin to learn gardening, and also work in your spiritual  garden. There is a plentiful harvest, and fertile soil out in the world that we can make an impact to. Are you willing to bless others through your garden?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Tips For A Healthier Life

Are you optimally healthy? All our systems and organs (stomach, liver, kidney, heart, lungs, intestines, colon etc) need to be well for us to be optimally healthy. We need to take proper care of our body, mind and soul to live a healthy life.
Everyone of us wants to be healthy and fit. Right? But what do you do for it?

Below are 10 tips for a healthier life. The key to  healthy living is making small changes: eating the healthy way, drink enough water, physical activity, optimistic point of view - these are just a few simple ways to improve your lifestyle. Small changes lead to big results.
  1. Exercise regularly - take a daily walk, use the stairs as often as possible, walk your dog a bit longer, stretching in the morning

  2. Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day - water helps to clear our system, bring on metabolism rate and flush out the toxins
  3. Get enough sleep every day - lack of sleep makes you feel tired, you can't concentrate your attention. Some studies have shown that 8 hours is the average requirement for adults
  4. Eat and snack the healthy way - eat more fruits and vegetables (5-9 servings are ideal). Choose raw nuts or berries for snack, they are rich in vitamins and minerals
  5. Live with passion and purpose - a life filled with passion and purpose is a healthy life. Smile, love others, and always look on the bright side of life
  6. Have a balanced lifestyle - a plan for balanced self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual

  7. Hang out and learn from healthy people - as much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, it turns out we are who we hang out with
  8. Minimise excess processed food, caffeine, salt and sugar - They are the main reason why people all over the world are getting fat and sick
  9. Relax and do things you enjoy - relaxation is one of the most important keys to health and well being. It is the antidote to stress which is known to contribute to the development of disease
    which is known to contribute to the development of disease. - See more at: http://heartofhealing.net/relaxation-wellness/benefits-of-relaxation/#sthash.BLwiNiHX.dpuf
    which is known to contribute to the development of disease. - See more at: http://heartofhealing.net/relaxation-wellness/benefits-of-relaxation/#sthash.BLwiNiHX.dpuf
  10. Take supplements - we need supplements to promote proper vitamin & mineral intake for Optimal Health.  I highly recommend isotonix supplements, as not all supplements are created equal. To understand why, take a look at my website here.

I Am Enough


I don't know about you, but I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. I am generally an "all-or-nothing" person. If I think something is not good enough, I either stop doing it all together or won't stop until I feel like I've made it. And the concept that "I am not good enough" comes from past experience of failures in various areas of my life.

Brene Brown, the expert of shame and vulnerability, says "shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we are not good enough." Coming originally from an Asian background, where shame and honour are inextricably tied together, I can certainly relate to that! With the false motives which often propels me to do what I do because of performance orientation, this lie that "I am not enough" has been ingrained in me since I was a little girl.


I am going through Dr Caroline Leaf's 21 Day Brain Detox where we are taught how to think the right way toward a toxic free mind. By controlling the direction of our mind, we control the direction of our life. We can perform simple brain surgery on ourselves by getting rid of toxic thoughts and planting healthy ones in their place. Since day 1 of this program, I've been dealing with this particular toxic issue of "I am not enough" with associated thoughts. So far the active reaches have been very helpful for me to work through heading toward healthy thought pattern.

At the end of the day don’t we just want to know that we’re “enough”? Unfortunately many of us walk around feeling either that we are not enough or that others aren’t enough for us. My experience tells me that a lot of my disappointments and discouragements could be traced back to me feeling like I am not enough and/or the other people in my life aren’t enough. 

This afternoon through prayers and discussion with a friend, I was once again reminded that due to performance orientation, and the desire to please others, I seek validation, approval and acceptance by people around me, particularly my dad, who had passed away more than 20 years ago. That's essentially where the toxic thought "I am not enough" comes from. By going to the foot of the cross and giving this burden to God, I am assured that I am enough, as the free woman God created me to be. As I was praying this afternoon, the Scripture from Galatians 2:20 came to mind "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I also felt at that moment my performance orientation was brought to death. I can now find worth or value in who I am in Christ, not just in what I do.

As I was driving home, I could hear the gentle whisper from the Lord, "you are enough just as you are, you are loved just as you are." I breathed in and surrendered myself to this truth. And I have a strong conviction that the Holy Spirit will step in whenever I feel like I am not enough again, to comfort me and carry me. I am so thankful that I am loved, accepted and even cherished just as I am. And because of that, I know I am enough!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Winter Wellness Workout


Recently I've made a conscious decision to
boost my holistic health and total well being, particularly physical and mental health as I go into Winter. I've embarked on a "Winter Wellness Workout" since the start of June with the goal to get both my body and my mind in better shape. 

Indeed, there are significant parallels between physical and mental well being. Whether working out your body to build strength, or working your mind to achieve emotional balance, a wellness workout with a reasonable plan is necessary.

Here is my "Winter Wellness Workout" Plan:

(1)
Staying active through exercise and physical activity throughout the week
(2) Taking an Isotonix daily essential supplement kit
(3) Eating well by following the nutritional guide through TLS
guide to healthy eating
(4) Practicing mindfulness
(5) Using an app called de-stressify
(6) Going through a 21 Day Brain Detox


Though this is a Winter Wellness Plan, my emphasis is on long term improvement in holistic health and quality of life. Now two weeks into this Winter Wellness Workout, I will continue to pay attention to my body and mind from empowerment to exercise, from sleeping well to eating right, so that I can be of more value to the people around me. 

A total wellness workout means minding both mood and muscle. Would you like to join me on this challenge, whatever season you are in?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Technology and Face-To-Face Communication


For a few years now, one of my goals is to be more effective in my communication and connection with the important people around me. And I embarked on the journey of embracing internet and social media technology to do that. Within a few years, I have become more and more comfortable with the technology and internet communication pattern. At times admittedly even more so than face-to-face communication! Can anyone reading this relate to that? 

Studies show that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word. And 93% is based on nonverbal body language. This presents a paradox! With all the powerful social technologies available to us, we are more connected, but potentially more disconnected than ever before. I am a living example of this paradox. I have found that as much as I have been really enjoying keeping in touch with my friends online, I still long for the personal touch. Also, I've had serious disagreements with friends when text messages and emails are misunderstood, because words alone without body language and facial expressions can be misinterpreted wrongly easily.

Technology is an awesome tool to help us stay in touch with our loved ones, but it shouldn’t take the place of face-to-face communication when it is possible.  As I've shared in my previous post here, one of my most valued core needs is 'connection / love',  I'm grateful that I have discovered mindfulness to improve my relationships by focusing on the moments, being more aware of my thoughts & feelings, as well as being present to enjoy and appreciate my friends and loved ones. I am obviously a work in progress, but enjoying this progressive journey very much!

How about you? What has been your experience on technology and face-to-face communication?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Disciplines Of The Heart


Since I've been more involved in practicing mindfulness, I discovered that mindfulness is the antidote to multitasking.
Multitasking makes it easier for our brain to succumb to distraction, while mindfulness helps us recognised when we have become distracted-- allowing us to get back to the present moment.

Does the command to "pray unceasingly" from the Scripture seem impossible if we are busy for even ten minutes a day? According to the author of "Disciplines of the Heart", Anne Ortlund, the issue of prayer isn't the task of prayer - it's God! Prayer is simply the measuring device for the state of your relationship with God.  Communion with God is resting in God always, even in the midst of your busy life. This is what you do while you do what you are doing!

To rest is to live in total acceptance of God's way. It doesn't merely mean a "quiet time" for prayer preceded by and followed by the old frantic rat race, as doing that gives your brain mixed signals which breed confusion. Resting demands quiet all the time. However active your external life may be, God wants you to develop between your two ears, in the disciple of your heart, a lifelong attitude of rest in Him. To truly rest is to be mindful of the Presence of God, and the Divine Guidance in the here and now, moment by moment.

"Deep within your vast interior space.....is a tabernacle God built to commune with you. From it He calls you with tender urgency. And from the farthest reaches of your inner space an ache of yearning echoes back His call." ~ John White

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Struggles, Strengths & Firework


In my previous post, I wrote about mindful start. You know I am not always positive and mindful. At one stage of my life when I was really struggling, I thought I had missed my chance to start again after I stopped. I was stuck, I was burnout and I was depressed.  And the more I struggled the faster I was sinking.

At the time, as Katy Perry's song "Firework" (I love that song!!!) says, I feel like a plastic big drifting through the wind wanting to start again! I feel so paper thin like a house of cards one blow from caving in! I feel already buried deep six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing! During that dark hour, I wrote about how I felt here.

But you know what? We are all human. We all struggle, and are weak at times. Embrace and learn from your own struggles, and see them as the opportunity for growth and transformation that they are.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

I am thankful that I was given the strength to not surrender to my struggles! It doesn't mean struggles won't come again, but I know I have the 'firework' in me that will see me through it all. :) x

(((firework)))
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the fourth of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em falling down down down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time, you'll know......
 
 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mindful Start


Yesterday I wrote about my experience of Mindful STOP. Today I was reminded that after stopping is obviously starting again. A quote from Anne Frank came to mind: "How wonderful it is that we need not wait a single minute before starting to improve ourselves and our world."

On that note, in the here and now I am starting to improve myself and my world:

1. Start with myself
In order to make a difference to others and my world, I need to start with self-renewal, self-love, self-care and self-compassion. As we all know women always put others first and forget about caring for themselves until last in their everyday lifestyle. That's why starting from this month, I'm committed to embracing healthy lifestyle this Winter, and beyond, in different areas of my life.

2. Start small
Don't expect to understand what it takes straight away to get to the top, just take the next step.
Think big, but start with baby steps. When you accomplish a small step, you gain confidence that you can accomplish the next step.


3. Start with the end in mind
To start with the end in mind, you need to identify your life purpose. Consider your strengths, interests, talents and past successes. Also, find people who have been successful in the area of your interest. Listen to them and model what they do to get where they are.

4. Start now
This is the key to mindful start. Take action in the present moment. Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift. That's why it's called the present! Don't wait until it's too late before you begin to pursue the dreams and vision implanted in your heart.

As Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you want to be in the world." In order to change, we need to start with ourselves, start small, start with the end in mind and start NOW.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Mindful S.T.O.P


Do you take time out to stop and smell the roses? Are you aware that creating space in the day to stop, come down from the worried mind, and get back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful in mitigating the negative effects of our stress response?

Last month, I participated in a "Mindful in May" event with the Mindfulness Coach John Shearer, where
I learned about one especially useful and simple mindfulness practice that I started to incorporate into my busy routine. It’s called the Mindful S.T.O.P. Here’s how it goes:

S – Slow down (slow down your breathing; or slowly press your feet into the floor; or slowly stretch your arms; or slowly press your fingertips together)
T - Take note (with a sense of curiosity, notice your thoughts & feelings; notice what you can see and hear and touch and taste and smell; notice where you are and what you are doing)
O - Open up (open up and make room for your thoughts &  feelings, and allow them to freely flow through you; use any defusion or expansion skill you like)
P - Pursue values (reconnect with your values, and let them guide whatever you do next)

According to Russ Harris, author of the international best-selling self-help book 'The Happiness Trap', and a world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), a regular Mindful STOP to slow down, take note, open up and pursue values works wonders to our health and well being. The whole point of the exercise is practise, practise and practise some more! It is so worth it!

Here is my Mindful Stop experience today:

S - Slow down. After meeting a friend for some brunch in a cafe where we sit outside to have some delicious food, I start walking mindfully around Southbank in Melbourne city. I take a deep breath and then take in the beauty that is "Marvelous Melbourne", as I slowly press my feet into the floor. I slow down happily and enjoy my city.

T - Take note.  With a sense of curiosity, I notice the air temperature, the way the sunlight hits the river, the expressions of people's faces, the smell of winter breeze and the sound of an endearing Chinese elderly man playing an instrument with a smile. I stop and take a video of his performance. As I continue walking, I notice how my arms swing and how I hold my hands. I am aware of my sensation & feelings of gratitude that I am blessed to live in this great city.  I am smiling at the beautiful surroundings.

O - Open up.  I notice my thoughts starting to wander around my 'life purpose' and my 'breakthroughs'. My silent observer makes room for these thoughts and then I gently allow my mind to come back to the present moment. Then I walk back to my car to drive home, and realise as I am driving I try to remember the 6 core mindfulness processes. Interestingly that thought in itself is a distraction because it doesn't allow me to engage fully in what I am doing in the hear and now. My silent observer notices that and reminds me to be aware of awareness itself and I open myself fully to experience the feelings of happiness and joy that are in my heart as I drive home.


P - Pursue values. I value health and well being, and this winter I have made a commitment to take positive actions to be involved in "Winter Wellness" as I find that in Winter months it's easier to get sick. I have made a plan for balanced self-renewal in the four areas of my life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities I focus on in "Winter Wellness" in these areas.









Saturday, June 07, 2014

Holistic Health & Total Well being


According to Macquarie Dictionary, well being can be defined as the"good or satisfactory condition of existence." A number of factors impact on our condition of existence, as well as our definition of good or satisfactory. Clearly there are both objective and subjective components to understanding this concept. Apart from the six human core needs, other basic requirements that need to be met in order to achieve a level of satisfactory health and wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) include shelter, education, community, income, happiness etc.

Each of us is a “whole” person, taking into consideration the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states of well being. The focus of Holistic Health focuses more on prevention than cure, helping the body achieve balance and optimal health. Therefore, holistic therapies are especially helpful to people with the ability and desire to be proactive in their healing.

We all need to have a plan for balanced self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:

PhysicalHealthy eating, fitness, nutritional supplements, rest and recovery
Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others, emotional regulation, realistic optimism
Mental: Renewing your mind, brain detox, reading, writing, relaxing, practising mindfulness, self-care, self-love, self-compassion
Spiritual: Spending time in worship, prayer and Scripture, expanding spiritual self through values, beliefs, empathy, reflection

As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you experience transformation and growth in your life, increase your capacity to cope with the challenges around you. Living a life of balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself holistically.

You can renew your mind through the Scripture and praying. Or you can totally burn yourself out by being overly busy. You can pamper yourself by relaxing in the nature. Or you can go through life mindlessly on auto-pilot, oblivious to your wellness. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. You can arise and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of fear and anxiety. Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity toward holistic health and total well being. It is a choice. All it takes is the desire,  knowledge, and commitment.

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Six Core Needs


Yesterday I went to an all day workshop about how to be a successful coach. The trainer shared that inner peace could be achieved if we met our six core needs (invisible drivers) in different areas of our life. While each human being is unique, everyone has these six fundamental needs, and all behavior is simply an attempt to meet those six needs.

The Six Core Needs:

1. Certainty/Safety/Comfort: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
2. Uncertainty/Variety/Adventure: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

Understanding these six invisible drivers, and which ones you are trying to meet in any given moment mindfully, can help you create new patterns that lead to lasting fulfillment in life.

I'm interested to know, is there a particular need that you value the most? And how you meet these six core needs? For example, in your relationships, spiritual life, health, finance etc?

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Important Mindfulness Traits





Attention: Our mind doesn't sit still, so cultivating attention can be hard work. The here and now is the only time we can see, hear, smell, taste, touch and communicate.  The key is to pay attention to present moment experiences, with openness, curiosity and a willingness to be with what is.
 
Awareness:
Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening in the present moment. Your silent observer is that part of you that is pure awareness, a perspective to observe self-as-context. This is a process, not a thing, an awareness of awareness itself.

Acceptance: I believe we all have the God-given grace for each season. No matter what circumstances we are in, we can make the choice to accept ourselves, appreciate the present moment, and enjoy our lives. 

Awake: The mindful way starts with mindful awareness and slowly progresses to being awake with mindfulness. If we are not completely awake, we can't really appreciate life to its fullest. Today is the only life you are sure of. Shake yourself awake.

Actions: Actions turn your goals and dreams into reality. Taking action is a sure way to get unstuck from a merry-go-round in life. Let go, forgive yourself, take actions based on your values, passions & purpose to move forward, moment by moment.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Importance of a Quiet Mind


Since I've started practicing mindfulness, I have a new appreciation towards a quiet mind. One of the things that most people want is this inner peace, reduced stress, less worry, and peace of mind.

Personally some of the most profound experiences of stillness, inner quiet, and peace of mind I have experienced in my life occurred while praying, walking in nature, sipping a cup of tea, looking over the ocean and enjoying the experience of being alive. And as I've recently discovered, paying attention on purpose, to the present moment, non judgmentally surely helps us experience inner peace.

Below are some quotes about the importance of a quiet mind that I love. Hope they encourage you to see the importance of a quiet mind:

“... in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength ...” - Isaiah 30:15

"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." - Baba Ram Dass

“Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace ...” - Isaiah 26:3

“Be still, and know ...” - Psalm 46:10
“... Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” - Jesus (Mark 4:39)
“A peaceful mind generates power.” - Norman Vincent Peale

"Make haste slowly." - Zen saying
 
“... be transformed by the renewing of your minds ...” - Romans 12:2
"Awareness in itself is healing." - Fritz Pearls

"When there is a quiet mind, there is nothing to fear, for all fear exists only within the thoughts of the mind." - Rita Friedman

If you are like me, someone who is used to engaging in many activities and always having many thoughts in your mind, starting to nurture a quiet mind through being still can be challenging. I have started to “practice” this state of mind as much as I can, using what I already have in front of me as a reminder to be mindful and aware.  If you remain open for practicing the Presence of God, peace and calm can happen to you, and quietness will certainly be your strength in His strength.



Monday, June 02, 2014

Renewing Your Mind


Do you ever think about what you're thinking about? Everyday you wake up do you connect with your life? Everything you think, learn, see, and do, shapes your brain and changes your life. Whether you realise it or not, you’ve been training your brain since the day you were born. Do you know that you are actually your own mind gardener and that you can choose your thoughts?

The best thing you can do is renew your mind with the Word of God so we can think like He thinks and experience His good plan for our lives. Romans 12:2 says,"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

When you spend time studying the Word and renewing your mind with the Truth, it helps you set your mind in the right direction so you can have more victory in Christ in your life. And as this new way of thinking gradually renews your mind, it dilutes the old thinking and transforms your perspectives and attitudes. Moment by moment of every day you are changing your brain with your thoughts in a positive or negative direction. Every time you think and choose, you cause structural change in your brain. Your thoughts impact your spirit, soul and body.

Right now I am going through Dr Caroline Leaf's 21 Day Brain Detox, which is an online daily guide that takes only 7-10 minutes each day, where Dr Leaf walks us through each of the 21 days guiding us to a toxic-free mind. This program is changing my life!

By controlling the direction of your mind, you control the direction of your life.