Have You Ever Felt that Your Emotions have been Hijacked? Beware: Amygdala Hijack

Amygdala hijackHijackings are a constant worry in our world. With planes crashing from ill intent it seems we are kept on edge. But the hijacks we may also want to be aware of on a deep, and personal level, are ones that we actually have some control over. These are the hijacking of our own amygdalas of our brains. Daniel Goleman, world-renown emotional intelligence expert coined the term, amygdala hijack in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”.

Why is amygdala hijack a concern? And how do we know we are being hijacked? Every time we experience a strong emotional reaction that comes on suddenly and afterwards feeling like our reaction was inappropriate, (if not destructive or embarrassing) we have been hijacked. This response is often one related to fear and is a response to perceived danger by a primitive part of our brain. Continue reading

Truth Serum? – Take It!

Throughout my life there have been many times that I have been lost in sadness, disappointment, or anger. This is part of the human experience I know. I have to say that I am much more at peace now that I know that I know the greatest tool from my coach training for me. It is also the simplest. It is being willing to find the truth.

The truth is the remedy to all emotional suffering, honestly. We use this tool when we are suffering by asking ourselves some questions. Emotions can be confusing, but when we begin to ask questions, it is like a truth serum, getting us to the honest place where we can find what is really bothering us. From there we can find some solutions. Continue reading

Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates, or, Meet My Grandmother

Life is a box of chocolates at one-hundred!

My Grandmother turned one-hundred in October of 2014. It is a major achievement for someone to live to this milestone, and it is also a wonderful opportunity to appreciate what it takes to live for this long. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and want to share with you why perhaps she has lived well all of these years.

The dear-to-my-heart novel, “Forrest Gump”, by Winston Groom, gifts us a most memorable quote, which always seems to be in the back of my mind since the first time I saw it. I love its optimistic and innocent way of viewing life. It kindly reminds me to stay positive while expecting the unexpected, in a sweet way.   Continue reading

Choose Wisely

Before you make the big choice, take time to ask some very important questions. It will save you a lot of unnecessary anguish.

Choose Wisely

You must choose, but choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.

This ominous quote is from the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Think about the most important choices you make in life. Making the best decisions starts with knowing yourself and being honest about what you deeply want. Sure, while making decisions other people are considered, but it begins and ends with you. Continue reading

Never Say Never, Or How I Began Doing Bikram (Hot) Yoga

I have done yoga, alone in my bedroom, off and on for a few years. I am not particularly flexible nowadays, but once I was fairly so. I had a health problem in the beginning of the year and since then I had done no yoga at all.

My older daughter lives where there is a Bikram studio and has practiced Bikram for over three years and says how much it helps relieve her chronic health problems. It surprised me because she is utterly against being physically uncomfortable, so I could not imagine her being hooked on it! Continue reading

Nag Relief 101

So… DO you nag? Does your significant other avoid the next furrowed brow or deep sigh as you notice what you had asked for has not yet been done? He is well trained to read your body language when you are less than pleased and when your expectations have not been met. Just like with children, scolding (nagging) seems to bring on the need for more scolding. It becomes a vicious, resentful circle. Our relationships don’t flourish when our perceived needs are not being met yet the resentment that builds emotionally separates us from the very people we love the most. They are not children, but behave like children, rebelling against nagging. They, like children try to please when they are feeling appreciated, understood and loved. Just like you do. Continue reading

Who’s Your “Everybody”?

VTfallI was walking yesterday, in the beautiful fall weather here in Vermont, and was thinking about the upcoming talk on stress that I am doing later this week at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. I was going through the list of stress factors for the presentation and got to our “Everybody”. The “Everybody” is a very important factor in our stress and it is unique for each of us.

Who is “Everybody”? It is a small group of people who raised us and individuals who became very important to us at crucial developmental stages in our lives. It is a committee of a few key people put together by our social self to protect and help us. On the other hand, it is also the “Everybody” whose perceived opinion we use internally to make decisions or to judge ourselves in our minds. For example, think of when you are asked to do something that is outside your comfort zone or something you have never considered. Your response might be, “Everybody will think I am crazy!” You can come up with your own situation for your use of “Everybody”, but few of us escape his influence. Continue reading

Dropping Fears

Bonnie on trail rideI recently read a blog post from one of my mentors, Terry DeMeo, http://www.thewayfinderpost.com/life-begins-at-the-edge-of-your-comfort-zone/, as seen on the Wayfinder Post. This blog was about reclaiming courage over fear of heights, which I can relate to and this brought me to a related thought about where these fears come from, how they affect us and affect other people in our lives as well.

When I was thinking about my own fear of heights, I began to unravel the origin of my fear. I noticed where it came from and why and how holding onto that fear also taught others to fear too, namely my children. Continue reading

Lions Calling

LionThis is my memory of our last game drive at Londolozi. Please forgive any inaccuracies in my account. No notes were taken and it is my memory after all.

We were back in our room after dinner at about nine p.m. on the last night of our stay at Londolozi.  As was usual, I was aware that there were animal sounds outside. There was a pond just a short distance from our room and we often heard sounds made by the hippos in the water. They made a variety of sounds, some grunting and some almost growling. But these animal sounds really made me think of lions, roaring over and over again, and it went on through out the night. Continue reading

I Love You, I Love Me

View of Butler Island from North Hero

View of Butler Island from North Hero. Watercolor by Sally Olson, 2004.

I am at one of my favorite places on the planet right now and doing the needed spring clean up from the winter winds, mice and dust. I am opening camp! Yay!

I am in the quaint, quiet town of North Hero, Vermont, which sits on one of a string of islands on Lake Champlain. Where our camp is located, we face the Green Mountains, and we get to be the first to see the sunrise as we face east. It is dazzling.

I am here alone on the weekend before the Memorial Day holiday and I am surprised to find none of my neighbors around. This means less commotion and more wild life. Continue reading

Courtesy of WSYB 1380 AM

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