Sunday, January 19, 2014

Breathing is something we all do in order to live.  But how many times have you been told in your lifetime when things get stressful to just ‘breathe?’ 

It is always funny to hear someone tell you to breathe.  After all, don’t you do that anyway?
But this ‘breath’ is really more of a life pause:

*It is a pause for reflection.

*It is a time to stop in your tracks and take note of what really matters.

* The breath is meant to remind you to feel where you are at, not simply react, freak out, be stressed or take things out of context.

* It is for taking a moment that is yours and only yours for yourself to regain your position of balance and being, counting to ten. 

Breathing sometimes helps us to examine where our priorities are, evaluate what energy is in our lives and what is working and not working for us.   It gives us a chance to appreciate the things we normally ignore, because we breeze through life.  

Breathing helps us see where we are and helps us to get where we are going, while clearing a space we can reserve for positive insight.

Whenever we have a chance to step aside and not taking everything so seriously, we soon discover just how much energy we waste on a daily basis on things that simply don’t matter when we look at life’s larger picture.  

Have you ever gone on a jog or run and suddenly needed to stop to catch your breath?   When we stop ourselves mid-stride, sometimes we are given an opportunity to gather scattered dispersed energies in order to regain new energy. Taking time to take a breath also shifts how our bodies physically react to any given situation.  

Breathing in also gives us a chance to reconnect with nostalgic memories.  Whether you are smelling Grandma’s special recipe for a hearty beef stew or perhaps the aroma of a roaring fire reminds you of campfire chats when you were a child, we can trigger many memories from our past by breathing in scents to help us recall certain times in our life.    The smell of an old book, a holiday candle, popcorn or cotton candy can take us back to times we cherish. 

With that said, when considering your next conscious ‘breath’ – remember that it is important to also exhale all that ails you…  stress, tension, pent up emotion, frustration and things that are not within your own control in order to give you the release you need.  Mental, emotional and physical well-being is reliant on the ultimate cleansing breath. 

Take care of your health.  Stay well and flu free.  Keeping your sinuses healthy and clear because you took the time to be conscious of your breathing when stressful situations compromise your immunity is important. 

As we enter the holiday season, a time when most get overwhelmed with life, errands, daily tasks and the calendar – remember to breathe and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way. 

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It
Sunday, December 29, 2013

RESOLUTION: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.: the act of resolving something.

New Year’s is a time when people make resolutions.  But what is a resolution, really?  It’s about RESOLVING what you consider to be a problem in the first place.

This has brought up something interesting – HOW DO WE DEFINE PROBLEMS?   For each person, a problem is different just like solutions and resolutions to those very problems are different. 

When is a problem, really a problem?

If you solve the problem, does the problem go away to the point your solution becomes the ‘solve all’ to this particular problem in the future?  

Ask yourself this question.  Then take a look at your New Year’s Resolutions. 

Let’s say your New Year’s Resolution is to stop __________(fill in the blank) or start ___________(fill in the blank).  

Why do almost all New Year’s Resolutions FAIL?   It is because most resolutions are not actually resolving anything or solving the actual problem.  And this is because it is identified as an isolated thing.   Most things we must stop doing or start doing is based on BEHAVIOR – and so if we’re not resolving the root of the behavior, most often it translates to the same behavior in another form.

Have you ever heard of people who want to stop smoking say they don’t want to because they think if they do, they will gain weight?   Why do you think that is?   It is because the food replaces the cigarette. The behavior switches gears to something else because it really is about anxiety, discomfort, nerves, which is usually the base behavior for why people smoke in the first place.  Sometimes it is a generational learned behavior.   But it is not the cigarette, it is the behavior. 

Have you ever heard of people who say their New Year’s Resolution is to be more productive, but by mid-year, nothing gets done because they’ve been too busy to take on the resolution?   This is because the problem isn’t really productivity, it is time management, being disorganized.  This is a behavior.

Have you ever heard of people say that for the New Year they want to lose weight?  But then just  a couple months later, they have not lost it?  This is because the problem with weight has absolutely nothing to do with food or even exercise – it has to do with psychological behavior (i.e. habits, willpower, mind-over-body, not stuffing emotional issues, etc.)  This explains why even if you run five miles and eat healthy, you can still have weight.   You have to let go of the issues in order to help yourself get rid of the pounds.  It’s all behavior based and that is the root.

So as we look at ‘resolutions’ we must ask ourselves what is it we’re really resolving.  Are we resolving – procrastination, obsession, defeat, control, anxiety, anger?   

YES – THIS IS THE REAL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION… these are root resolutions.  And root resolutions solve more than one problem.  Root resolutions are acquired or learned behaviors that trigger a whole set of behaviors, actions and reactions as well as responses.  It is these root problems which cause a myriad of problems.  

We tend to ‘categorize’ problems as one thing without realizing there is a string of other issues affiliated with a behavior which transfers across the board.

Problems multiply.

Take the common flu for example.  The problem is you have the flu.  And when you see multi-symptom relief over the counter – notice that this medication can solve coughing, itchy eyes, sneezing, fevers, sore throats, sinus congestion and a long list of problems.   We have all accepted that the flu has ALL these symptoms – so the flu is not just one problem.  For many it is several problems going on at once, right?  

If we take the approach of our resolutions being like multi-symptom relief, we ultimately won’t really have to make New Year’s Resolutions anymore.  Changing one behavior (which is the common denominator of many of our problems) can eliminate a problem by being the ultimate solution.

So as you make your New Year’s Resolutions this year – RETHINK what it is that you are resolving. If you RESOLVE, you ideally DISSOLVE a behavior and then you will be SOLVE the problem.

Join us in our Solution Revolution and resolve to dissolve and you too can say “WE SOLVED IT!” 

 ~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It

Friday, December 20, 2013

How many times have you heard the phrase, “Silence is golden?”   Do you know what it means?  It means that sometimes saying nothing is preferable to speaking. 

With the upcoming holidays, we felt this was an appropriate blog to post.   The holidays are a time when people lose their cool, their patience and out of stress and frustration from traffic, crowded stores and malls, parking issues and of course not getting enough sleep from trying to do too much, words fly that shouldn’t.

Is it really a store clerk’s fault that the last iPhone has been sold?  

Is it really the waitress or waiter’s fault that you had to wait 2 hours to get a table for dinner when you didn’t make a reservation and all the shoppers like you don’t want to go home and cook dinner and are also eating out, too?

Is it really the parking attendant’s fault that you failed to read the 15 minute only parking sign?
The point is we should all take a moment to pause and much of the time, keep our mouths shut so we don’t take out our frustrations on innocent people. 

The holidays come every year, the same time of year.  This is not a secret.  It’s not like anyone did not tell you when they were.  You knew, you did not plan ahead.  Whose fault is that?

It is also good to remember the silence is golden rule at holiday gatherings and parties and watch your alcohol intake.  Nothing could be worse than getting sauced and blurting out that your co-worker Jenny is job hunting and the company boss is just an earshot away.  Stop the office gossiping, backstabbing and sabotage and keep your mouth closed.

Silence is also golden around children.  Don’t ruin the holidays for them.  Let them believe in their family traditions and the magic it holds even if you don’t.   It is not their fault you lost the magic and are bah-humbug about the season.  Let them enjoy their holiday break from school and take in what the season has to offer without your tainting it because you see the world differently. 

Family gatherings are also a good time to remember the silence is golden rule.  If you know Uncle Edgar gets upset when the family talks about his toupee, Aunt Ida is sensitive about her weight gain and your cousin Monica isn’t pregnant yet but has been trying and trying – keep quiet, remove the pressure, negativity, and unproductive discussion that only causes hard feelings, awkwardness and heated family arguments.   This is also NOT the time to break confidences, have open discussions that were private between other family members, or sharing your opinions that can cause discord, uneasiness and make loved ones feel uncomfortable.  

Silence can also be golden if you are too joyous.  The holidays are not always jolly for everyone.  Sometimes they are difficult and painful – particularly for people who have lost loved ones and have this time of year representative of personal tragedies; those who are dealing with illness and disease; divorce; a miscarriage; the season marks the anniversary of a natural disaster or horrific loss/devastation from Mother Nature or they have a family member overseas in the war zone fighting for our country.  

While it’s great you may be cheery and festive, sometimes your cheeriness and festive mood is not particularly welcomed if someone else is struggling emotionally, financially, physically or mentally.  Some people are just waiting to get through the season and want the holiday music to be over so they are not reminded of the unhappy memory or the fact they do not have the means to participate in the way your jolly nature expects.  Be generous, offer support and love, but keep your mouth shut from words that may be more painful to hear at this time of year. 

Above all – be conscious and think before you speak if you choose to speak. If unsure – keep quiet. Your mouth sometimes can cause a lot of problems – pushing people’s buttons, being selfish with your thoughts and actions, saying things that rub people the wrong way and not putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.  

And remember that silence is golden – not just around the holidays but it can be helpful in many social or household situations all year long. 

Be kind. Be thoughtful and courteous. Remember your manners.  It’s the season of holiday goodies and eating.  Enjoy them – and since it is rude to talk with your mouth full, best to just savor the tasty treats and keep the peace. 

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Safety is something we think about year-round.  But with the holidays, lots of people get caught up in the moment and forget some simple key ways to be safe around the season.

If you read our blog regularly, you’ll know we just posted a blog on TIME FOR FIRE SAFETY REMINDERS
You will find many of these fire safety reminders to be related to safety for kids and pets. 

Some of the most obvious safety reminders may appear to be obvious, but it is easy to ‘forget’ the dangers affiliated with holiday activities.  Here are a few tips we’d like to post.   We hope that even if this is just a refresher for you that if our tips can help save one child or one pet it’s worth being repetitive. 

*Fire wood is wonderful if you are lucky enough to have a wood burning fire place. And while you may already practice fire safety tips mentioned in our previous blog – chances are you have firewood placed on your hearth at one point or another inside of your home at a level that small children and pets can reach.  Do not forget that black widow spiders like to nest in piles of wood.  One bite from this spider can be a lethal one.   Be sure to inspect all of your fire wood thoroughly before you bring it inside.   Keep watch for splintery bits that often fall off when bringing the wood inside.   Stocking feet of kids and adults as well as the padded paws of four-legged family members will appreciate not getting toe splinters if you take this extra precaution.

*Holiday plants look lovely – but they can kill your cat or dog.  Caladium, Christmas Berries, Christmas Rose, Jerusalem Cherry, Holly, Mistletoe, Pointsettia, Star of Bethlehem, Elderberry and even common house plants like English Ivy or Philodendron which often accompany red and green floral arrangements can be deadly to your pets.  Even if you are extra careful with these holiday arrangements… even simple floral arrangements for your mantle, dinner table can be deadly. Keep them out of reach and out of places where they can be knocked over by curious climbers – both the two and four-legged ones. 

*Hooks and pins are great for your holiday wreath or tree to hang lots of baubles and help hanging lights both inside and out, but should one fall off onto the floor, carpet or even just outside your home it can easily be swallowed slitting the throat of your toddler or pet!   Even if you do not have children or pets – a metal hook in your foot or in your car tire, really isn’t fun.  Watch out as you decorate in all your merriment – and be extra careful. 

* Ornaments and lights are beautiful for decorating, but they can be dangerous, too.  While glass bulbs are probably on your radar - Ornaments adorn everything these days from holiday garland, wreaths and trees to table coffee table centerpieces with candles.   Most of you may be aware that glass ornaments are dangerous and many can fall onto hard surfaces like a hearth, entryway or floor and shatter – you may not be aware that some plastic ornaments are not as durable as you think.  Small shards of plastic can be dangerous, too – as most ornaments are hollow and have seams which split easily.  Even if the ornament is in tact, look for these plastic fragments to break away from corners.  Many of these ornaments may not be up to temperature/heat (those that sit directly next to holiday lights  or feel the heat of the fireplace it sits next to) – breaking down the material, making it more vulnerable to small cracks and breakage.

*Wires/electrical cords are a necessity when ‘plugging in’ your festive lights inside your home.  Curious children and pets around a LIVE Christmas tree that is watered regularly to keep from drying out with dangling cords for lights nearby is deadly.  If you have pets that drink from your toilet – what is to stop them from drinking water from the base of your holiday tree?   Stay aware of this danger and be cautious of cords and wires that get pulled out and plugged in with the curiosity that comes from snooping around surrounding presents around the tree’s baseline (kids and pets), as well as the water that some pets may be drinking and playing around.   

*Holiday treats are in abundance during this time – candy, cakes, fudge, pies … it’s sometimes a bit overwhelming when you have friendly co-workers, neighbors, friends and relatives who drop by with plates full of goodies.   While most parents are careful with children and their nut allergies and dogs around chocolate – we would like to take this time to remind everyone that these treats in the wrong hands or paws, can make a very UNMERRY holiday season.  The same should be said for hot cocoa, hot cider, coffee and tea – spilling of hot beverages within reach of kids or pets can burn your loved ones.    And while alcohol goes without saying – everyone knows not to serve it to little ones and pets, you also need to take precautionary measures.  When Grandpa Al or Aunt Joanne happen to ‘forget’ they’ve left their hot toddy on a low-level coffee or end table in the living room during their visit – this can present some dangerous circumstances.   

While the holidays are supposed to be fun and we’re not trying to put a damper on your spirit, we DO want to ensure happy, safe, peaceful, healthy holidays for all.   With so much going on between the shopping, wrapping, cooking and travel planning – we don’t want you to get so distracted you forget that your children and pets also look to you to protect their health and safety.

By taking extra care this holiday season you can ensure your family will have happy holidays.
~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It