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Monday, September 30, 2013

Breathe Into A Bag

Last night I experienced what I'd call a panic attack.  It was horrible.  The less I could breathe, the more out of control I became and the less I was able to relax... which is precisely what I needed to do.  My husband, being the wonderful husband he is, talked me through it and gave me a paper bag to breathe into.  He's good like that.

Anxiety.  It grabs us silently sometimes.

I consider myself to be a pretty laid back person.  People call me positive.  Optimistic.  Relaxed.  I meditate and I teach mindfulness.  I've been told I help others feel at ease when they are in my presence.  Yet I have a healthy dose of enthusiasm and excitement.  And silliness.  And flakiness.  I'm a cross between the Dalai Lama and Bridget Jones.  I also hurt to the extreme when something really hurtful happens.  I hold it in until it explodes.  It's probably the reason I have constriction in my chest and tension in my neck and shoulders.  The stress of holding in the hurt leads to anxiety - an epidemic in our world.

I'm currently in a hurt state.  I don't think about it all the time, nor do I need to talk about it or dwell on it.  I just have accepted that I have done everything possible to fix a relationship with a loved one and that person does not want to fix it.  It's out of my hands.  Out of my control.  I am healing.  And I was triggered last night (and it would have been nice if I had identified the trigger earlier and meditated instead of hyperventilated!).

In the past, I've crawled into a cave when I hurt. I figured, who needs to be impacted by my hurt and negativity at this time?  I'll get over it and then begin to spread positive vibes and love and peace again.  However, taking this approach has led me down a much slower recovery time.  I didn't have support or community.  I didn't have a paper bag to breathe into.

Now I reach out... to the best of my ability.  I'm still learning how to do that.  As a fiercely independent single mom for 15 years, I did not have the know-how to ask for help.  Now I realize I'm not getting as far as I dream unless I ask.

It's a funny thing... asking for help.  I didn't even know how to ask my husband how to help me last night.  I told him I was going downstairs to be alone and he should go to sleep.  But I was a mess!  Of course, he couldn't bear lying in bed while I gasped for breath downstairs!  It's funny now that I think of it... but that's pretty much how it went.

I needed my paper bag to start today in a better place.  I did not ignore the hurt feelings.  I talked through them (once I caught my breath and regained a sense of normality!).  I took my own advice on mindfulness (well, Terry had to remind me - even a mindful person needs reminders!).  We even started joking - had to get some endorphins moving around.  And then we stretched and did a rain dance.  True story.  I'm pretty sure our neighbor's surveillance camera caught us on video.  I love my paper bag prince.  He has helped me move from fiercely independent to lovingly interdependent.

One of the things I tell my students and clients is that mindfulness is NOT suppressing or denying your emotions.  It's being fully aware of them and learning how to respond most effectively - being completely aware of how your response will impact yourself and others.  So I'm learning how to not suppress hurt... which leads to anxiety.  I'm still learning.

You don't have to deal with your stress, anxiety, or hurt alone.  Awareness of your triggers and how to effectively respond will give you optimal holistic health.  When you're in an irrational state, reaching out can help you do that.  Find a paper bag, breathe into it, and love your paper bag prince/princess.

Warning:  Watch for surveillance cameras if you choose to do a rain dance.

Tina is a Harmony and Wellness Partner.  Through her group and individual programs, she helps organizations and individuals bring peace and higher satisfaction to work and life relationships through mindfulness and leadership.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where the Path Takes You


I completed a 30-day nature challenge a while back.  I blogged about my journey and lessons learned. The number one take away was that when I connect to nature on a daily basis, I am grounded and balanced.  When I do not, I start to teeter and spin my wheels more.  Being in nature every day is part of my wellness.  I had no idea this nature challenge would be the beginning of a path for me, though.

Last week, I had my energy read by an amazing energy reader, Christa Steeves.  Without knowing much about me at all, she mentioned this need for connecting to nature daily.  She also said things about the path I'm heading into that amazed me and, not only have been guiding me, but when I make decisions based on this guide, I feel good!  The path was not specified exactly, but it was clear that the challenges I've been facing in my business were challenges because I was on the wrong path.

Wellness is a path.  It changes direction.  There are a lot of stumps and bumps along the way.  Other paths lead into the right path - sometimes you end up on the wrong path.  You reach your destinations/goals and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Holistic wellness is far more than your physical health.  That seems to be a common first step for people because physical symptoms appear when there are other root issues at play.  Many treat the the physical symptom and never consider much about the holistic nature of wellness.  In my professional life, I help businesses uncover the root causes of business challenges that really are symptoms of something else.  We get at the 'truth'.  Then we 'create' a plan to address the issues. 'Understanding' of what it takes to progress and resolve the issues comes as we implement the plan.  Finally... a 'transformation' occurs.  A positive change happens.  Leader, business, and individual success follows.

Taking care of your wellness is like that too.  It's a journey.  To get at the truth, it takes more than a simple knowing you have to lose weight or you have to get the pain in your knee fixed.  For true wellness in life, you dig.  You ask the hard questions.  You may not see the truth until you really are ready to commit to changing your perspective, your habits, your life.  When you see the truth, the right path will take you to the right place.  And you will transform in amazing ways.

My path is leading more and more towards wellness.  I have gotten involved with an amazing group of women at FarOut Fitness, which has given me a venue for taking care of my physical wellness.  This group also satisfies part of my social need.  But, what I didn't realize when I got involved, was that being involved with this group would catapult my return to an old path of health and wellness in serving others.  And that would be part of my own healing and holistic wellness.

I have offered my first wellness coaching session as a donation to FarOut Fitness.  I believe that, like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to create happy, healthy, loving people.  We give.  We receive.

Namaste

Tina Pomroy is a Business and Leadership Coach and Mentor, bringing mindfulness to business.  She also provides coaching and mentoring in wellness, parenting, and career development.  You can contact Tina at tinapomroy@hotmail.com. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Asked. I Am Hearing.

OK, so if you've been following me, you probably know that I have another blog, Company Om.  Last year, I started a business.  In a nutshell, I help leaders, managers, and business owners overcome challenges, be more successful in their jobs and lives, and address people and relationship challenges in organizations. I use a mindful and holistic approach.

While developing and growing this business (still developing and growing!) I asked the universe for direction.  I asked the universe to help me know the signs.  I asked for guidance when I reached frustration or lack of knowledge about what to do next - this constantly happens but I've only recently started asking for help.

And I'm listening now.  And I think I hear.

Almost every client I coach on leadership, career development, or business has a need to find balance in his or her own personal life first.  This often involves physical health, emotional health, relationships, identifying passions, and making time for self.  Yeah - it's wellness.

I've ALWAYS been an advocate for holistic wellness.  I have preached to my own team and family that we need to take care of all the spokes on the wheel - physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual - in order to be truly healthy.  I believe in using natural remedies before turning to medicines (don't get me wrong, I love that medicine can cure cancer and give someone a mechanical heart... soon anyway).  I believe attitude and mind management have a HUGE impact on our physical health.  And I've talked about and debated these topics and encouraged family, friends, clients, and those I lead to try these ideas on too.

And the world is changing.  My belief system isn't so wonky anymore.  I am surrounded by people and organizations that have the same beliefs!  I am loving it!

When I was 20, I started my Dietetics degree.  When our class toured the facility in a local hospital and I saw that the Dietitians were creating diets for sick people, I thought, "Wow, I cannot do that for the rest of my life."  So I left the program after two years (1/2 way through) - and not alone! Unfortunately, I was not shown the many ways Dietitians can impact the lives of others.  But nutrition has been a big part of my life ever since and I'm constantly learning about new research.... the last few months I've been changing my lifestyle to be 'Clean' - essentially, natural, unprocessed eating.

When I was 30, I completed my CanFit Pro course.  I wanted desperately to make fitness part of my career.  However, when I investigated becoming a personal trainer or fitness instructor, the salary could not come near my then salary and I was barely making ends meet as a single mom.  So I gave up on that idea then too.  But fitness was always a big part of my life too.  I danced since I was four, I ran since I was 18, I did yoga off and on since the 90s. I try all kinds of fitness classes and sports... aerobics in the 90s, snowboarding, hiking, skiing, bootcamp, kickboxing, hula hooping... just today I began Kettlebell classes!

So.  Why am I writing all this?  Well, now I'm 42.  And many of my clients need a balance in wellness. And it seems I have been meeting and getting connected with (aka attracting) many like-minded people that are involved with fitness, wellness, and health.

ALSO...... I've been presented with my own health issues for the first time ever.  I've been managing them for a few years now.  The good part of this is that it's given me insight.

Sooooooo...... and here's the kicker..... I asked.  I listened.  And I'm hearing.  I am adding a new coaching service to my business.  It's holistic wellness coaching.

I have known this for quite some time.  However, not having the letters after my name in a health profession blocked me from feeling I had the knowledge and ability to offer this.  But, I'm a good coach.  I'm a good leader.  I can kick butt.  I love this stuff.  And I LOVE seeing people fulfill their dreams and goals in life... in leadership... in holistic health.

This blog - Going Om - has, to date, been about my personal journey after returning home from a year living abroad and having a baby at 40 years old.  Now, it's shifting.  It will be about health and wellness - my personal journey and any stories or knowledge I might have to share to help you on your journey.

PLEASE send questions or comments anytime.  I am embarking on this journey with YOU.

Namaste


Friday, June 7, 2013

My Crazy Cat Eats Earrings

So....  I live with a crazy cat.  I also live with a kind, yet strange, husband, a silly and weird teenager, and an active toddler that, let's be honest, challenges me at 42 years old (in a good way).  Oh!  And, I started my own business.

I'm stretched a little thin.

Yesterday, my toddler was being a typical curious almost 2-year old and figuring out that the bottom tray of the dishwasher rolls out.  So she rolled it out.  Onto my foot!  I screamed.  I mean, I really screamed.  Not at her.... just screamed out loud into the universe.  I have chronic pain that I've recently admitted to and started managing through diet and other methods.  One of the things with chronic pain is that your pain tolerance reduces.  I used to have a tremendously high pain threshold... now it's minimal.  And so, when I get a knock or the bottom tray of the dishwasher lands on my foot, it hurts.  And I scream.  It's not pretty, I admit.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I realized one of my earrings was missing.  AGAIN!  The cat took it.  She takes earrings and elastic bands and we either find them in strange hiding places or never find them at all.  Another pair of earrings gone... well, one earring gone, but who wears one earring?  Well... maybe, yes, some do... but I digress.  The point is.... I got frustrated at the cat.  I scowled and huffed and puffed.  I think I literally said, "Grrrr."

The craziness of the cat, strangeness of my husband, and weirdness of my teen must be rubbing off.

Is there something good out of this?  Yes, of course.

I've spent years developing myself.  So having these moments of frustration, anger, pain, etc. drive me insane.  HOWEVER.... my recovery time is less than five minutes in most cases.  OK, maybe I was grumpy for 10 minutes after the dishwasher tray episode (I do have a bruise).  In my defense, I was laughing after 10 minutes.

That's the lesson.  We all have all emotions.  We're human.  Identifying them, managing them, and recovering quickly from the bad ones is what it takes to be able to not let them take you over.  And I'm practicing this lesson a lot these days.

The cat, on the other hand, just gets to be crazy and no one questions it.  Lucky cat.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

When Mama Needs a Mama


A Mom always needs her Mom.  And a Mama sometimes really needs a Mama.

When my daughter was 10 months old, I became a single mom.  I was in that 'state' for 15 years until I met my husband... that's a blog for another time.  Anyway, when my daughter started school, I started to meet other parents.  And over the next few years, a group of Mamas formed.

For me, it all started with Mama CF... she was our inspirational, world-travelling, successful mama.  Then came the birthday parties and Mama ST became an amazing friend.  She always smiled and remembered important dates and called just to say hi.  She still does.  And she delivers baked goods.  Mama KO knew all the news and gathered the troops so the parents all knew each other - the 'connector'.  Mama JA, formerly known as Mama JF, often provided the venue and the nachos... and the medical advice.  Mama AF was younger than me.... she brought youth and craftiness and, in time, adventure... she also attracted male attention to our group:)  We all brought the wine... or Corona... whichever was the preference.  We laughed a lot.  We were silly.  We made hard times easier.

There were more mamas (and a few papas too), and they all brought wonderful energy to our 'support group'.  Over the years we leaned on each other for parenting, divorces, new relationships, camping woes (which always lead to awesome stories later!), emotional breakdowns, celebrations, tire changes, graduations, proms, exams, international moves, science fair projects, over-nights, birthday parties, team sports, concerts, road trips, kids' boyfriends/girlfriends, a lot of firsts.... the list is endless.

Our kids have grown.  They've gone their separate ways.  The mamas have somewhat as well.  A few of us still get together regularly and we throw a Christmas mama brunch or supper each year for everyone.  But our needs have changed...

Errr...  HALT!  THEIR needs have changed!  I now have an almost 2 year old as well as my 19 year old, career investigating, legally partying 'child'.  I'm changing diapers while discussing universities!  Where is THAT manual?  I need some mamas!

I love my Mamas and I probably would have melted into oblivion without them over the years.  And they're still in my life.  But, is there such a support group as mamas with children aged 2-19??

This is a funny, yet amazing, place to be... and sharing it with a few Mamas would really be spectacular.  Terry is a Papa.  A really good Papa.  Actually, an amazing Papa.  But a Mama sometimes needs a Mama.

To all the Mamas.... Namaste


Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Put Beer in the Baby Bag

This morning I'm driving my husband's car.  This past weekend, we drove my car about 1500 km (back and forth) in order to have 1 1/2 days of skiing and snowboarding on a great hill - and the windshield broke.  A truck in front of us kicked up a rock.  That's how the weekend ended.

Last week was hectic.  The baby was out of daycare for two days (sick-ish).  Terry was getting sick.  Terry's mom was visiting while she waited for a doctor appointment (underlying stress for all as we waited for CT Scan results... all excellent!  Yay!).  We all had a hard week at work and school.  When Friday hit, we were pumped to drive 750 kms to the other side of the province to have a couple of days riding down snowy slopes.

We arrived after midnight and were on the hill by 10:00 a.m. Saturday.  The first ride was a-ma-zing.  We were feeling goooooddd.  Hill two.  Brittany passes me now.  She flies down the hill like the skilled boarder she is.  Terry is also much more skilled at skiing than I am at boarding.  I've really lost my snowboarding ability since having a baby, but I digress..... so I'm taking little jumps as I completely enjoy my second ride and I'm killing it!  I'm making it a few inches into the air!!  Wooohoooo!  I'm flying!  *sarcasm*  I see Terry stopped... waiting for me.... and there's a little pile of snow in front of him.  I know exactly what to do (impress!).  Swish... swoosh... bend the knees... lift... jump... fly.... PLOP!  Or should I say BELLY FLOP!  Sweet lord, the wind was knocked out of me.  My brain shook.  It took a good 5 minutes before I felt clear enough to make it the rest of the way down the hill.

And so the weekend began.

I spent the rest of the day struggling with the fact that I simply was not as skilled at snowboarding as I used to be.  The day was still fantastic.  The snow was fluffy.  The air was fresh.  My board didn't seem to want to keep moving on flat parts so I had to bend over and push myself until I reached a hill.  Towards the end of the day, I had another fall.  This time, backwards.  Right on my butt.  My neck whacked backwards and cracked and crunched.  Now, I knowingly was to have sore muscles equally balanced on the back and  front.

The day ended and we were all tired and refreshed and happy with our first day out for the season (albeit a tough one on the body!).

We were all asleep by 9 p.m. that night.  And the baby slept until 6:45!  Heaven.

Sunday's snow was even better than Saturday's!  We managed to get on the hill by 9:30 a.m.  This is a great feat for parents of a 1 1/2 year old.

I learned my lesson on Saturday though.  I took it easy.  I took breaks when I felt I needed to.  I didn't try to keep up with Brittany and Terry.  I enjoyed the scenery.  AND... I listened to my music.  Literally and figuratively.  I was not 'there' on Saturday.  I did not accept the fact that my skill level has declined and I had to slow down.  But on Sunday, I plugged in my earphones, I practiced acceptance, and I enjoyed the ride.

It was bliss.

Of course, the weekend had to end.  We had to pack it up and drive back 750 kms.  As we pulled the cart of luggage (an amazing amount for two days) the baby bag tipped off and fell to the floor.  We had two bottles of beer left over from our big party night (between three of us we drank 4 beer while we watched a TV show) the night before.  In our last minute of fury packing, Terry poked them into the baby bag.  And yes.  They smashed in the baby bag when the bag fell to the floor.  Crash.

Being beat up physically as well as by the ego, I was already primed to have a little freak-out.  I had a short snap of unconsciousness.  "Why did you put the beer in the baby bag?  I said it wasn't a good idea."  Oh, the self righteousness!  I stewed for a good 10 minutes as we cleaned up the mess, threw all of the baby's food for the drive in the garbage, put her beer soaked clothes into a separate bag, and finished packing the car - now smelling a little beer-like.

A few breaths later and a few apologies from Terry... and a coffee.... we're having a grand chat and all is in the past.  It was so not a big deal.  And I so over-reacted.  And I so apologized for it.

Anyway, we made it home.... and when the rock flicked up to our windshield and cracked it, Terry had a little stew of his own.  Thankfully, I'm  not the only human around here.

Namaste