Tag Archives: Stress

Quiet Mind

How does it feel
When your mind is quiet
All chatter is gone
Churning has ceased
And your thoughts rest
On the shores of silence?

How does it feel
When light slowly seeps in
Hope reappears
Gratitude takes hold
And the quiet space
Is filled with peace?





Meeting Angus. Type A.

We all know him (or her). Let’s call him Angus. He’s Type A. We see him in our rearview mirror, changing lanes and zigzagging his way from far back there on the road to our back bumper in a minute or two. He is stuck behind us and starts swaying right and left in the lane to signal we’re going far too sloooow. We check and see we’re doing about 10 miles over the speed limit. No faster than that, we decide. Now Angus is gesticulating. His arm is out of the window and his index finger goes round and round – hurry up will ya!

Is that Angus in your rear view mirror?

Just before the next intersection he moves into the turning lane on our left. Left turn only, with a white curved arrow on the asphalt. Phew, he’ll be gone. The light turns red. We stop, and he stops too.  There’s a red arrow for his lane. At least he didn’t run the red light. We wait. The light turns green and we start crossing the intersection. And wroooom, he cuts in right in front of us from the turning lane. We stand on the brakes not to hit him. That was too close!  No, that was Angus. He’s in a hurry. Always.

Taxis (Stock image)

Or we may meet Angus on the big city street around lunch time. Running with his briefcase under one arm, and the other waiving for a taxi. Taxi! Prepared to fight for the first taxi that appears around the corner. We resign to the fact that we’ll not be meeting our lunch date on time.

But suddenly he’s down! Holding his chest. Now we need to call 911. It looks like poor Angus is having a heart attack. We’re still there next to him when the ambulance arrives.  We say we don’t really know him, just been meeting him here and there. The paramedics work fast, he’s lifted into the ambulance. And he’s gone. Or is he?


 I originally wrote this story about two years ago (now shortened/edited), but was reminded of it today as I had a really close call with Angus. Somehow, miraculously, I was able to avoid a T-bone collision with him.  I’m a bit shaken, but happy that my reflexes are still sharp. I hope I won’t meet him again any time soon. And I hope you’ll stay safe too.

Stress Relief Routine. Instructions.

Morning run on the beach…

On my morning run (I did run for a bit!) I spotted a Tri-colored Heron in the salt marsh. She was doing a fascinating new exercise routine.  Or maybe it was bird yoga? Whatever it was, I caught it on camera and will share the instructions, frame by frame, right here. In case you want to try it at home.

tri-colored heron Sand Key Park Clearwater
Stressed out and tense…

When I first saw her she was looking really stressed out. Her pose was hunched and her neck was nailed onto her shoulders. She clearly had some tension in her otherwise gracious body.

tri-colored heron Sand key Park Clearwater
Letting loose…

She started by shaking loose. Vigorously. The whole body.  Her feathers became fluffed and her hairdo instantly went from old-fashioned sleek to a modern pixie look.

tri-colored heron
Starting to stretch…

After loosening up a bit, she stretched her neck down and to her right. Streeetch.

tri-colored heron
And now to the right…

Then, still holding her head down, she stretched to her left.

tri-colored heron
Then down, down…

Next, she stretched down, down. Now her bill was hardly visible. She was immersed in her feathers.

tri-colored heron
Completely immersed…

And then she let her head go completely.  It disappeared. Mind over body.

tri-colored heron
Coming out of it…

Finally her head reemerged, her neck still twisted and the feathers on her shoulders fluffy. And she stretched up.

tri-colored heron
Head up, far up…

After this exercise routine, I observed her head was high above her shoulders. No more hunching. She appeared happier and more balanced. Maybe something there.

More like this duck...
More like this duck…

I continued my run (more of a walk now, to be honest) inspired to exercise more. Losing one’s head once in a while can be beneficial both for the body and the soul. Maybe I’ll finally try yoga. As recommended by my friend Nancy. I know I’m not as flexible as this heron, rather more like the duck I met later on my trail.  It might still be worth a try.





The Movers Came

Uh, huh. The movers came last night. The PC movers. They packed all the programs, files and settings from the shelves and cupboards of my old home. And dumped the boxes overnight in my new home. Faster than promised delivery. I was there at 3 a.m. to check on them. Lots of stuff, 100 plus gigabytes.  It’s all there and nothing is broken. But what a mess! Boxes with minimal descriptions stacked in every corner. Can’t find anything. “Kitchen” could mean plates, cups or a garlic press. You know how it is.

My new home is quite close to my old one. I only moved from number 7b to number 8b on the same street. It’s called Windows. On the outside my new home looks quite similar to the old one. Same curb appeal, but that’s where the similarity stops. I thought I deserved a truly modern home, “all granite and stainless steel”, so to speak. Lot’s of efficient, green power and the latest gadgets. And it’s all there! But I can’t find any owners manuals. I guess I’ll get to use my intuition in learning how to operate everything.

I’m grateful my key worked. And now, coming back home, I only need to walk up to the front door, look up briefly, center myself – and it opens. I’m recognized as the owner. That’s always something. Makes you feel good.

I’ve been sniffing around the boxes this afternoon, opening a few, doing little reconnaissance. Found my blogs, among some other small necessities. I realize that settling into my new home will take some time. Need to open all the boxes, reorganize my furniture and do more decorating. Make myself feel at home. All in its time. Patience. And more patience.

Moving is really stressful. I’m sure you agree. And thanks for your understanding if I can’t find your blog right away. Now I think I’ll need a walk on the beach. Sunset time.

Freshly Stressed?

I was on a treadmill this morning. You might have been as well. It’s Friday, good to get in shape for the weekend.

As usual, I started walking slowly. Next I was jogging, then running. Also adjusted the angle after a while, a little bit of uphill wouldn’t hurt. It would just make me work a bit harder. Good for me, there would be a reward for this! Went on running for almost 20 minutes and then wanted to slow down again. Nothing strange about that, the control buttons worked! My pace became more tolerable and finally the treadmill slowed down and stopped altogether.

But what if the buttons hadn’t worked!?

I know these machines. They don’t always work as you might expect. See, I used to be on a treadmill all the time.  I mean 24/7.  The speed was variable but mostly very high, lots of uphill running too. It was fun, nice rewards kept coming. Run we should, faster and faster!

I was freshly stressed. Life was good!

After a while I started to feel tired. Wanted to slow down to a pleasant jog. That’s when  I realized the equipment didn’t work as I had expected. I tried to slow down, pressed all the buttons, but nothing happened.

My dear Blackberry, with whom I was deeply bonded, kept ringing and buzzing around the clock. Hundreds of messages, calls, meetings, be here, be there!  Caffeine breakfast, no lunch, very late dinner, no time for family and friends, no time to sleep! No time, period.

The treadmill was no longer helping me to get happy and healthy. It felt more like a hamster wheel! And the rewards didn’t taste so good any more. They had a faint smell of burnout.

I had come to believe that it was risky to jump down while the machine was still speeding. I might fall and hurt myself! And if I survived the jump, I’d still lose the safety and predictability of the treadmill…  So I just kept running.

Until one day, exhausted, I realized that it would never stop. I had to jump down!

To my amazement, there was no fall, no hurt. After a gracefully executed jump, I landed nicely on my two feet! What a relief!

Now I go on a treadmill whenever I want to. I run as fast and stay as long as I want to. And I always check that the equipment works before I step on it. Recommend you do that too. And if you’re stuck on a faulty treadmill, trust me: it’s possible to jump down. It will be just fine.

The Ladder

Constant drama

carefully brewed daily

furiously engaging

reality show

about climbing the Ladder.

Achievements stringed

like manmade pearls

hanging around the neck

to proudly display

that tremendous success.

While in actuality

(a sad observation)

behind all those accolades

hides the barren landscape

of a burnt out soul.

Now might be the time

to climb down

put both feet firmly on the ground

breath deeply

and finally start living from the heart.