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Do No Harm but Take No Shit.

personal development Apr 15, 2018
Taken out of context the title may sound aggressive. However, if you really look at what it means it is saying that it’s okay to set boundaries while also being aware that is not OK to intentionally harm another being.
We all learn from boundaries: The person setting those practices self-respect, and the other person learns how you want to be treated etc.
 
To illustrate my point I will use some simple personal life examples.
 
The Bar
Years ago I was out with a few friends enjoying a quiet evening at a local bar. Two guys came in and they were being rude and aggressive; eventually one of them calmed down. But for the next hour and a half the second guy kept behaving in a very inappropriate manner.
 
I have a very long and patient fuse that burns over time but we all have a snapping point. Finally in my own very firm manner I let him know that I was done attempting to redirect him and put him in his place.
 
Avoidance: Just leaving and...
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Did You Know the Gut Controls the Brain?

wellness Apr 08, 2018
We all know that the brain is our command center. It uses the vagus nerve to communicate with most of the body including the majority of the digestive tract. It also communicates fight or flight which is why you might feel your heart race, get short of breath, or a knot in your stomach or vomit when you become very stressed or nervous.
 
What science has learned is that 80-90% of the nerves in the enteric nervous system (region from esophagus to anus) go from the gut to the brain. The enteric system is so advanced with an extensive network of more than one hundred million neurons – more than the number of nerves in the spinal chord – that even if you cut the vagus nerve it will continue digestion on its own without the direction of the brain. That’s pretty impressive!
 
Before the modern age of food safety we had to determine if food was safe, if it could provide fuel, etc. The direct communication from the gut tells us this information. This is...
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Is Meditation for Me?

The idea of meditation for many people often involves imagery of chanting, humming, smoke and a religious experience. Though meditation may involve sound and be practiced to have a greater connection with your Divinity, is not specific to religious practice. Meditation is the practice of tuning our attention away from distracting thoughts and quieting the mind and body in an effort to experience inner calm and peace. Attitudes towards meditation have changed greatly, and it has been incorporated into some schools to teach kids to be more present, calm and cooperative.
 
Benefits:
  • Stress and anxiety reduction by quieting the mind and body, and reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Lowering blood pressure and improving breath regulation by taking the body into a better state of relaxation.
  • Improves self-awareness and acceptance by helping to clear the mind so we can see who we really are from a better vantage point. From there we can alter or maintain our...
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The Butterfly Effect of Kindness

personal development Mar 25, 2018

Sure, we've all gone to the grocery store and the clerk didn't even lift his or her head during the entire transaction. But does it mean you can't say “hello, thank you and have a great day?" Any of you who have joined me via phone at the store know that when I get to the checkout I ask if you prefer to hold or if I can call you back. That gesture alone often elicits a positive response from a cashier. Greeting both the bagger and clerk by name, treating them as people not servants, grows smiles and sometimes (sadly) a look of shock or confusion. Your simple greeting may change that person's attitude towards the day. They may have just had a poor interaction with a boss, been ignored by the cell phone using customers for an hour, and so on. You making that effort to interact with the cashier... and the bagger too...and by name as a bonus...reconnects them to the people that surround them.

Too often we ignore the people around us. You may think that no interaction is not...
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Why Fad Diets Work!

wellness Mar 18, 2018
Finally, someone agreeing that diets work other than their creators. Now it’s true, I said they work but not for how long or why. Sometime in your life you’ve probably tried a diet, a fast or a miracle pill. It promised you an extraordinary change and it probably delivered on that promise for some period of time.
 
Let’s evaluate why pretty much all diets work:
  1. You were required to focus on your food. Most people take food as it comes. They throw whatever is around into the tank as fuel. Some of those items set us up for failure on a physiological level. For example, the more sugar you eat the more sugar you’ll want. Anyone who plans and prepares food will find some level success because you are now being proactive in your food choices and awareness, and making better choices.
  2. You ate significantly fewer calories. For many people that alone was a benefit because it stopped them from over indulging. However, it likely caused more loss of water...
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Appreciation or Criticism. What Motivates You?

personal development Mar 11, 2018
I previously talked about knowing how much you care. Many times we take the “No news is good news" approach to human relations. If someone is not saying something bad then people often assume it must be “all good,” right? Well, not really.
 
As people we desire genuine praise, acceptance and recognition. In my role, of course I have to direct and tell people where they are missing the mark, but it's also important to remind people of how far they've come and how much potential exists within them. To reach out and let people know that they matter can really make a difference in someone’s outlook. While we tend to look at life with a critical eye (there is a place for that), showing appreciation and praise for yourself and others is also necessary.
 
It could be with your partner or kid... Instead of telling your child their room is always a mess, try adding praise when it (or something else) gets even a little picked up, even if not to your...
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Say "Yes" and Try Something New. A Lesson from My Clients.

How many times has a friend asked you to do something “out of the box” for you and you declined because it’s just not your thing? Maybe inside you think it could be your thing but you feel uncomfortable or just assumed that because you’d never done it, you wouldn’t like, or didn’t believe you could even do it. Maybe it involves going to the beach, meeting new people, or a popular group activity that many people are doing nowadays. I mean what if you look stupid? What if no one likes you?

One of the hardest people to open up to is yourself. We often give credit to other people for stepping out of their comfort zones but our own fear of the unknown stops us. It keeps us from new experiences, people, and growth in general. We’ve all been there. Wouldn’t you agree that the unknown is almost always worse than the real thing?
 
Recently, I had the honor of leading six amazing clients in a four mile, 22 obstacle run. It was...
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Are Ankle and Knee Support Braces Helping or Hurting Me?

wellness Feb 26, 2018
 
If you are considering using a support brace ask yourself why you need the brace – is it for warmth, stability, injury recovery? Are you just scared of rolling your ankle again? When it comes to knees and ankles routine stability, balance and strengthening are crucial. Braces are not a substitute. Too many times I’ve seen people bypass this ongoing process and shift right into wearing support braces. This is a mistake.
 
People use braces for one of several reasons: 1. To assist in recent injury recovery, 2. A specific event where they need a little extra support, or 3. Long-term daily use during most common activities.
 
1. When it comes to injury recovery and basic daily function, yes, a brace is very helpful. Just after injury the individual is not likely at the re-strengthening part of recovery and is still managing the effects of the injury. Gradually over time, however, there should be a decline in support brace use and an increase in...
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They Don't Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care

personal development Feb 18, 2018
You’ve probably heard this before, and if not, it’s so true, right? Everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to modern leadership trainers have been credited with the phrase. It is the basis of quality coaching and teaching. I’ve been a fitness and personal development coach for more than 15 years. I think it's fair to say that even if my clients don't achieve the success they had hoped for, while working with me they will always know that I genuinely care. They know I did my best to help motivate them and direct them towards their goals and a healthier, more balanced and focused lifestyle. I'm a firm believer in this principle – it is my foundation.
 
When it comes to coaching, leading, marketing, social influence, as well as everyday interactions, being genuine, open, and attuned to others is what encourages people to open up. When you engage with people at work or home are you giving them your best self? Or are you leading conversations, meetings and...
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