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Archive for Wellbeing

Five Simple Strategies to Subdue Stress

 

Chronic stress contributes to headaches, inflammation, depression, heart attack, diabetes and stroke.

 

Five Simple Strategies to Subdue Stress

  • Manage stress before stress manages you
  • Add a vitally important and often overlooked tool to your personal and professional toolkit
  • Learn proven stress management tools from a trained professional with 25 years of experience

Join Leah Skurdal, author of
Seeking Serenity: How to Find Your Inner Calm & Joy

Thursday, May 10, 6:30-7:30pm

At The Wellness Circle
7094 Lake Dr. Lino Lakes, MN 55014

Limited Seating Available.  Stress busting snacks.

Call to confirm your reservation now!  651-472-3995

BIG LOVE

What the world needs now is BIG LOVE! Bigger than fear. Bigger than self-doubt. Bigger than your excuses. Not the fluffy Bunny Peep love of Hallmark cards or the casual, “love you” greeting. What we need now is deep, profound I-will-do-what-it-takes love. I know what that kind of profound love feels like. So do Marlene and Bill.

Marlene and Bill, a retired couple in their 80s, live in the land of ice and snow in Northern Minnesota. When Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer, doctors prescribed 39 radiation treatments – which required driving an hour to the town of Brainerd, five days a week, from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Aside from the courage it takes to survive 39 radiation treatments, (no small feat) getting to the appointments during a Minnesota winter took a different kind of grit, courage and profound love.

The winter of 2014 Up North, as we Minnesotans say, included record snowfalls and thirty degree below zero temperatures day after day. Marlene took the wheel. “You’re not dying on my watch!” she told Bill. Which means: Die if you must because it is your time to go. But you are NOT dying because I did not do MY 100%.

Marlene drove Bill to and from the hospital, two hours a day, leaving the house by 7am, five days a week through harsh winter driving conditions. Some people commute an hour to work but not usually at Marlene’s age of 82 years old.

Marlene drove 4500 miles that winter. Half of the time, the roads were not plowed. Marlene would position her four-wheel drive SUV behind an 18-wheeler and plow on through the snow drifts covering the road. On some days, it was only Marlene, Bill and the truckers who were committed enough to venture the journey to Brainerd.

One day, as they left home on a snowy day in sub-zero temperatures, Marlene and Bill said to each other, “we have nothing to complain about. We’ve had a good life.”

They drove in silence. Marlene prayed the rosary for an hour straight twice a day – which she credits as the reason they arrived safely every day. After the 39 treatments ended, Bill’s cancer went into remission. Spring finally arrived and Bill went back to gardening and feeding the wildlife.

That’s what it took: grit, Minnesota heartiness born of determination, prayer, and BIG LOVE. That’s what 50+ years of marriage will do for you.

We could use some of that BIG LOVE these days. The BIG LOVE required to teach kids and adults compassionate communication skills so they learn to get along with each other. The BIG LOVE required to find or create an educational system where your kid can thrive. The BIG LOVE required to build a loving home environment where each of the family members feels loved and appreciated for their unique talents.

In my work, Intentional Energy Healing, I play all out for my clients. We set an energetic intention to create or to heal something in their life. One client got her estranged daughter back in her life. Current client intentions include completing a marathon, healing family relationships, and experiencing more daily joy.

What are you committed to in your life? For what are you willing to DO WHAT IT TAKES?

Post comments below. Message me if you would like support to create a life you love.

 

Anger, Resentment, Betrayal – Oh My!

Feeling betrayed lately? Among my clients, I notice similar patterns showing up around the same time. Lately, it has been the pattern of betrayal.

Someone has an affair with their friend’s spouse. Someone’s ex-spouse tries to steal from them. A co-worker gossips and spreads untruth.

Another theme I observe is that the level of emotional pain my clients feel goes beyond the current situation. It seems that the betrayal is a symptom of recurring emotional pain and not only the cause of this emotional pain.  How can we heal the root of betrayal so the pattern does not recur?

In my work, we look at the energetic vibration woven into the tapestry of a story. Within the tapestry, the feeling of betrayal carries a judgment of right and wrong. Someone is a victim and someone is a perpetrator. Someone expressed themself in a hurtful way and someone received hurtful feelings.  In the vibration, there is a giver and a receiver – two ends of the vibratory pattern. I can’t feel betrayed unless I am willing to receive that feeling.

How can you receive more love when you feel betrayal, anger or resentment?

In my meditation yesterday, I asked, “What is the question?” I heard, “How do I love more deeply?” Good question. “OK, how do I love more deeply?” I heard, “Allow. Allow. Allow. Allow. Allow.”  Great.

So, to love more deeply, I need to open my heart more fully. Tricky thing for us empaths who already feel more than our share of the world’s pain and need some boundaries.

Do you open your heart wide and risk feeling the pain of betrayal when someone steps over your boundaries?  Or, do you love more deeply which means, loving yourself more deeply and being willing to take care of your boundaries – and be willing to say, “That hurt my feelings.” Then, loving another person enough to let go of your need to be right and meet them in the field beyond right-doing and wrong-doing, as the Sufi poet Rumi says.

Ouch. Some days, I’m better at that than other days. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get to the place in my heart where I experience compassion for everyone in the story. One day, when I had experienced what, from my perspective, felt like a friend’s betrayal, I suddenly got a spiritual tap on the shoulder telling me to listen. When I turned inward to listen deeply to my heart’s wisdom, I understood a much bigger storyline than the immediate betrayal. My friend had her reasons which, from her perspective, made her happiness more important than my unhappiness. If I had walked her path, I might have come to the same conclusion.

But I’m walking my path. And right now my feelings are hurt by your embracing your happiness at my expense.  Ah. Therein lies, the judgment, the wrong-doing. When I add the tagline, at my expense, I imply that you knew I would feel hurt and chose to make yourself happy anyway. But, doesn’t everyone have that choice? Isn’t that acknowledging another person’s boundary? What happens when people’s boundaries bump against each other? Complicated questions to ponder. The more immediate question to answer is:

So what do you do with your feelings when you feel betrayed?

  • Acknowledge your feelings of anger, sadness and resentment. Then, give yourself some love. Open your heart from the inside to receive love from your Higher Self. It is only your smaller ego self on the outside that feels betrayed. You always have access to the deep inner reservoir of Infinite Love within. Connect to a place behind your physical heart in front of your spine that opens into your Soul and through Soul to God the Infinite where there is only love.
  • Allow love to stream through from your wise Higher Self like a balm to sooth the emotional pain. Surround yourself in this healing balm of Infinite Love that is yours to claim.
  • From this connection to your Higher Wisdom, ask deep questions and ask for guidance in navigating this rocky terrain.

What is behind the other person’s story?

What do I need to learn from this situation?

What did I do well?

What could I have done differently?

What action do I need to take next?

How can I come to peace about this story?

Ultimately, you want to feel peaceful inside, right? You can hang on to anger and sadness for a longer time until you are done processing those feelings if you choose.

When you are ready to heal those emotional wounds and ready to take a step forward (you don’t have to do it all at once) you will experience the relief of forgiveness as a weight being lifted from your heart.

  • Open your heart to feel compassion for yourself to have experienced this hurt.
  • Perhaps you can remember a time when you said or did something hurtful to another and how you would have liked to experience their forgiveness. At least you can forgive yourself. Open your heart to forgive yourself for your past misdeeds. You can say to yourself, “I’m sorry for whatever I did that contributed to my hurt feelings.”

If you believe you did nothing that contributed to the betrayal, look into your ancestral lineage and other lifetimes. Sometimes the roots of an emotional wound run very deep.

After filling yourself up with love from the inside, if you are ready, open your heart to a bit more compassion for another person who chose to act hurtfully out of their own hurt and broken heart.

When you can heal the emotional pain you are carrying, (how long did you want to carry around that bag of rocks anyway?), you open a doorway for others to release their emotional pain as well. When you shift up, you create a happier environment where you and others can thrive.

When you choose to respond with compassion and kindness, you rewrite the story.

Break the cycle.

Weave a new tapestry where your needs get met.

What are your thoughts about betrayal?  It is a many-faceted topic.  Add your comments below.

If you would like assistance getting through a betrayal and healing an emotional wound, I can help.  Message me and let’s set up a time to chat.

Up-level Your Relationships

Join Master Healer Leah Skurdal in transforming your old stuck emotional patterns, unhealed wounds ….And those pesky, past experiences …. To open your heart and build the healthy loving relationships you are meant to have in this lifetime.

Experience Leah Skurdal’s powerful visualization technique that connects you with your inner healer and allows Divine Love to release outdated thoughts and emotions that no longer serve your highest good.

Learn why transforming emotional wounds frees you to experience more loving, joyful relationships and live a more purposeful life.

When you align body, emotions, mind and spirit you show up differently in the world …. and for the world.

Take the next step in living your life on purpose ….. join Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit, for a transformational ten-week, online program beginning January 17.

Contact Leah for details. Leah.skurdal@gmail.com

New Year – New and Improved Relationships

A major stressor I see with my clients is managing the significant relationships in their lives – with spouse/partner, kids, parents, siblings, supervisors, co-workers, or customers.

The teenage kid slams the door as a gesture of power. The spouse/partner criticizes the dinner, car parking job, or the way the holiday lights were hung. The co-worker makes snarky comments. Siblings do not share in caregiving needs for the aging parent. No one in the house helps clean the dishes. And my client’s neck and shoulder muscles tighten trying to manage all the details of life.

Sound like anyone you know? Lol

I can help! Managing your significant relationships starts with managing yourself. When you set aside time for just you to regroup, you have more energy to handle the stuff of life. When you set aside time to listen to your own wisdom over the roar of daily living, you can hear what you need to do to get your own needs met.

What does the flight attendant say in case of a plane malfunction? “Put your own oxygen mask on first!” You’re no good to anyone else if you can’t breathe. When your resources are depleted and you are running on empty, you have less to give others. When you have replenished your reservoir, you have more energy to set boundaries for yourself. You have more energy to share your love with the significant people in your life. Because you do really love them and want the best for them as well as for yourself. You just don’t want to feel depleted all the time, right?

Learning the skills to listen to your own wisdom so you can know what your boundaries are takes practice. Developing a skill-set of ways to respond when someone pushes your buttons requires perseverance. But, you do have the mindset and the perseverance to learn and practice new skills long enough to get them in your muscle memory so they become second nature.

My 10-week online program, Spiritual Pilates, will give you the skills you need to respond from a higher part of your being when you are under stress. Spiritual Pilates will also provide the opportunity to practice the skills in daily living so you can integrate them into spiritual muscle memory.  By participating in the Spiritual Pilates program, you get to reset your default from stress  to inner calm and joy.

Plus, here’s the special deal for your significant relationship:

For the program beginning January 17, 2017 you can include another person for the same cost.

So you and your spouse/partner, kid, sibling or friend can

  • get on the same page
  • share skills
  • remind each other of the skills to use when you forget
  • have an accountability partner
  • heal emotional wounds
  • raise the quality of your relationship.

Disclaimer: This is not therapy or counseling.

However, Spiritual Pilates can be a great resource and toolkit to up-level your significant relationships – starting with your relationship with yourself.

Call or text me for the details. 651-472-3995.

What are your significant relationship challenges? Communication? Sharing chores? Feeling appreciated? Add your comments below.

Happy Fresh Start to the New Year!

Leah

Choose Love

Life is not all rainbows, so how do you respond to these crazy times?

I choose love. And I do things that help keep me sane. Here are three:

News fasting – I turn off the news. A steady diet of violence and negativity makes people, me included, feel depressed and helpless. Now more than ever we need people who are tuned in to a higher channel aligned with the Highest Good and Divine Love. When I am not sure of next steps, I ask myself the question: “What would Love do?” Then I imagine breathing through my heart and listen to what my heart says.

Look for beauty – I notice the pile of dirty dishes in the sink and the stinky garbage that needs to go out, and don’t give them much energy. I choose to direct my energy and savor the yellow leaves turning orange, the reflection of the wind moving tree branches in my picture frame, and the sound of wind chimes on my doorstep. I pay attention to what is right with the world and drink it in. I let the goodness and beauty in the world refresh and nourish me. I look for stories of people making positive contributions to others. The more goodness I see the more goodness and beauty I see.

Random acts of kindness – In our spiritual community, the middle schoolers painted rocks with positive messages like: I AM ENOUGH, KINDNESS, and JOY. When the rocks were dry, we walked around the neighborhood and left KINDNESS ROCKS where people would find them. We left LOVE, EQUALITY and PEACE on the steps of a mosque. The kids came back from the excursion with warm hearts after depositing little nuggets of kindness in the world.

What do you do to stay sane during these crazy times? Please share your positive contributions in the comments and spread the love!

 

Checkpoint

Let me share with you a secret I discovered about getting through airport security more quickly. Does the airport security checkpoint annoy you as much as it annoys me?  In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to practice new coping procedures to stay in the flow of joy, as the lines at the airport security have gotten longer and the security procedures more invasive. Some days I am better at staying in joy than other days. Recently, I surprised myself by coping so well that I got a desirable outcome. While waiting in line, I practiced what I call Spiritual Pilates to strengthen inner spiritual core muscles by aligning body, emotions, mind and spirit. This is the third time practicing Spiritual Pilates has gotten me a favorable outcome in the security line, so I think I am on to something.

I was picking up my unaccompanied minor child at the airplane gate. I thought I had allowed plenty of time to get a gate pass from the airline desk and go through the security check point to meet my daughter’s plane at the gate.  To my dismay, I saw the only security line stretched halfway across the terminal. A lighted sign announced a 40 minute wait time. My daughter’s plane was scheduled to arrive 15 minutes early which did not allow me enough time to get through security and meet her at the gate. An airline staff would need to wait until I arrived to claim my child.

Feeling frustrated about the abnormally long security line, I appealed to a staff person to help me get through more quickly. No luck. I made my way to the end of the line a city block away. A different staff person offered to speed up my security process by enrolling me in a service with a monthly fee. I declined the offer and stayed in the line, now muttering to myself.

Things started to change, however, when I noticed I was feeling frustrated. Then, I remembered a time in the past when I had been waved through the short security line easily and gracefully. That day, I remembered, I had been intentionally focusing positive, good feelings toward all the people in the security process. I decided to focus my intention and attention inward on a positive outcome.

A wave of annoyance came up when I thought about the dehumanizing process of going through the security check point, standing legs apart, and hands up as if I had done something wrong. I recalled having a security guard pat my chest because the machine had detected metal in my bra strap.  I followed the feeling of annoyance inward to the thought that created the feeling. I imagined the thought felt like a wall. I imagined the wall crumbling into small bits which I could easily pass through.

Another wave of annoyance. Another thought about all the inconvenience. I imagined the thought as a lump that melted into a pool. I imagined leaping over the pool of yuck. The line moved a little more quickly.

Another wave of annoyance surfaced about the insensitivity of airport staff people. I imagined the staff people had lives and annoyances of their own and felt compassion for them.  The line I was in started moving more quickly than the line next to me.

A friend came to mind who was going through a challenging time. I thought of her breaking through her own barriers and felt empathy for her.  I arrived at the ID check where the staff person spoke kindly to me. I felt grateful.

At the final security point, I emptied my pockets and put my shoes and belt into the x-ray tray.  All of a sudden, rather than the hands-up, pat-down line, I was ushered into the quick-walk-through-the-doorway line. A small victory for me!

That was the third time in the past couple years that I have intentionally focused positive feelings of love, compassion and empathy in the airport security line with a positive result. Each time, I have been rewarded with a shorter, less invasive quick security check, which I experience as a positive result and which increases my joy. Experiencing the third time convinced me that my attitude of compassion and forgiveness made the difference. I have not always successfully shifted my attitude. This time, however, my positive thoughts and feelings sent out a vibration ahead of me that resulted in a matching vibration of a positive outcome. I even made it to the gate in time to greet my daughter when her plane landed.

If I had stayed in my annoyed feeling state while in line, I would have sent out a vibration that attracted a circumstance to match my annoyed feeling and would have given myself more opportunity to feel annoyed.

Have you had a similar kind of experience? Have you noticed a relationship between how you feel and what shows up to match your feeling vibration? Have you noticed how changing your feeling state has produced a matching result?  Interesting, isn’t it?

I’m starting to get how this law of attraction thing works. Now, on to bigger things. Maybe I can figure out how to get my kids to clean their rooms. . .

If you want to learn more about applying Spiritual Pilates in your life to refocus on what you DO want, my Spiritual Pilates program might be a good fit for you. The program is now in its beta phase and won’t be offered in this way at this price again. To register for Spiritual Pilates course updates, click here. http://masteryintheartofliving.com/programs/.

Strengthen Your Inner Core with Spiritual Pilates

When I first took a physical pilates class I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had.  As I continued practicing the exercises regularly, I strengthened my newly found muscles and they quit complaining so loudly. As I have learned and practiced Spiritual Pilates, I have strengthened my inner wisdom muscles. My little ego self still complains, but not as loudly or as often as it did years ago.

I practiced Spiritual Pilates the other morning when I woke up with my thoughts spinning in an anxious jumble. At first, I lay in bed sorting my thoughts and working through all the stories. Then, as I shifted my focus from my head to my heart, my thoughts quieted and I could get some distance from the swirling circle of doom. My wisdom kicked in and got me back to center.

When I focused on the place of calm behind my heart, I realized that all the anxious thoughts were not all my thoughts. Have you had that experience?

It’s weird. You step into a cloud of thoughts that suddenly overpower your own thoughts. It’s kind of like when you turn a corner in the grocery store isle and are suddenly overpowered by a cloud of someone’s stinky fart. Most people have a sense of smell and notice the sudden difference in air quality. With thoughts it’s a little different because our culture doesn’t generally teach the discernment skill of noticing thoughts.

I had a weird thought experience while on a walk one day. I was walking along thinking about whatever random stuff came through my mind. Suddenly, I had a creepy feeling of fear and looked around me. Nothing suspicious to be seen.  No one in sight. I continued to the end of my route and returned the same way I had come. When I crossed the same spot where I had felt a wave of fear before, I suddenly felt fearful again. It felt as if I were walking through a cloud of fearful thoughts. I wondered whether someone else had been attacked on that spot or had had a frightening incident there and they had left a thought imprint. I’ve never heard anyone talk about that possibility, but that is what it felt like to me. I said a prayer of protection for myself and anyone who walked on the path. Since my prayer of protection, any time I have walked the same route, I have not felt fear anywhere on the path. The incident felt so odd that I have remembered it.

Everyone has the ability to pick up on other people’s thoughts. Some of us are empaths who pick up on thoughts and feelings more quickly. Some of us develop those skills over time. I admit that I did get a head start as a kid. One blessing I got from growing up in an alcoholic and dysfunctional family was to sharpen my intuitive abilities. I would walk into a room and put my antennae up to sort of sniff out the vibes in the room.  I would intuitively notice what was really going on under the surface that was not being discussed. I was not aware at the time that I was picking up on other peoples’ thoughts, but in hindsight, I understand that’s how my intuitive abilities were honed. Have you learned that discernment skill over time also? Do you pick up on other peoples’ thoughts and feelings?

When I woke up with anxious thoughts the other morning, it took me a few minutes to notice that I had woken up in a cloud of thoughts and feelings that were not all my own. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world right now. A lot of people are thinking fearful thoughts and feeling afraid of all the craziness out there. If you are stuck in a cloud of fear, Hey, wake up! It’s not all yours! We empaths get a double whammy because we feel other people’s feelings and we don’t know they are not ours. That lesson took me awhile to learn and still bites me in the butt sometimes.

Having practiced Spiritual Pilates for a while, I can get back to a place of centeredness and calm more naturally.  I can quit spinning around with anxious thoughts and feelings more quickly.

If you would like a few tools to regain your center when you get off track, check out my book Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life. The ebook is available to download from Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Serenity-Manage-Anxiety-Love-ebook/dp/B072C6FVVF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503890103&sr=1-1&keywords=seeking+serenity

It’s one thing to read about something and another thing to do it. It’s one thing to read a steamy romance novel and another thing to have a steamy romance. It’s one thing to read a book about dancing and another thing to dance. You have to actually do the activity and not just read about it. I’ve noticed in my life that I can get to a certain level of a skill by practicing on my own. When I am ready to go to my next level of that skill, I want to work with someone who has more experience.

If you are ready to go to your next level of mindfulness and wellbeing and would like a guide on the path, you’re ready for my course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit for Optimal Wellbeing. Click on this link: http://masteryintheartofliving.com/classes-and-workshops/

Let’s set up a time to talk about your journey.