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Five Steps to A Peaceful Body

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Learning how to walk in the way that heals my hip at the Core Walking Program at Casa Wallace.

I’m here at a Core Walking Yoga Retreat learning how to walk in a way that can heal this increasingly worse hip challenge I’ve had for the past two years. Some of the program has been damn hard and quite uncomfortable. Some of it has been truly life-changing. What I have come to realize is I can make peace with this body as it is right now – regardless of whatever challenge du jour I am experiencing.

The media, and messaging we grow up with, especially as women (but even men these days) wants to make something “wrong” with our bodies. Every day we are told this habit or that habit is bad for us. One day eating breakfast is mandatory to live a healthy life. The next day you’re advised to fast for 14 hours between the last meal of the previous day and your next meal. I even have well-meaning friends or family shaming me at times for my habits and preferences.

I have noticed that whenever I have gone to the doctor, even when I was pretty darn close to my ideal weight, I was told to lose weight. I’ve heard, if you’re overweight, some doctors refuse to even treat you. Yet there are studies that show overweight people get more prompt care in the emergency rooms and actually have better outcomes when they arrive at the emergency room with heart attack symptoms. So it seems like no matter what state your body is in, it’s highly likely someone somewhere isn’t going to be there for you the way you most need it at the time.

Looking for external validation on my body, no matter what condition my body is in, though is just not required to achieving a peaceful body. I learned long ago, I’m not likely going to get validation from “experts.” I don’t find fault with them as they exist to find things wrong with you. Nor is it anyone else’s job to bolster my self-esteem and how I feel about my body – this is an inside job.

I have realized at this retreat, I can make peace with my body, just the way it is.

Based on what I’ve learned on inhabiting this body for almost six decades now, here are my five reminder tips on how to get and sustain a peaceful body:

  1. Find an exercise practice (or several) that I actually enjoy doing, that brings me peace. For me, my heart is at peace, when I’m loving and enjoying who I am in the moment. Sometimes that is doing yoga with friends, other times it’s a walk in the woods with my dogs. I prefer to set my own goals and reach for those things that are meaningful to me.
  2. Accept, enjoy, respect, and love myself exactly the way I am, have been and will be. If was supposed to have been anything other than who I am, I would have. Achieving vibrant good health is a mindset and is possible no matter what is going on with my body in the moment.
  3. Recognize that whatever my body is experiencing has an uplifting and empowering message for me. This is different than a “story.” How do I know the difference? My story on this hip was filled with either blame or justification allowing myself to get further behind the eight ball on healing. I did the blame shame game for “letting myself go.” And I justified this by making excuses about how I was just too busy with life to really do anything about it. The “message” on the other hand makes me feel empowered and inspired. Hearing the message and allowing it to be my guide shows me various inspiring and uplifting solutions to resolve whatever issue I’m experiencing. Even when I can find advisors who can help me better tune into my experiences, I am the final decision maker on anything that goes on for my body. The message on the other hand, when I tuned into it. said – “go do something you’ll have fun at to get on the other side of this hip issue.” That is how I found the life-changing Core Walking Program at the incredible Casa Wallace holistic retreat facility in Northern Italy.
  4. Be mindful of how I care and nurture my body – I only get one body. How I take care of me, is 100% my responsibility. It’s not anyone else’s job to take care of me – not what parents did or did not do for me, not my children, not my partner, not my friends, and most certainly not anyone in the medical profession. I do what is right for me while loving myself just the way I am. For example – I am an omnivore and a foody. A standard yoga retreat that served only Vegan or Vegetarian food didn’t sound like fun to me. I need to honor who I am and live in the way that brings me happiness. Others have their own journey.
  5. Tune in to my inner voice on what my body needs in the moment. Mix it up and try various approaches to feeling fantastic. Variety is the spice of life so I try different ways of being, eating and moving, that keep me engaged in the flow of life.

The way I enjoy caring for my body is as individual as I am. It’s a part of growing and changing to experience various types of existence. I’m giving the “Peaceful Body” approach a whirl for a while to see what it creates for me.

Expanding Your Brain Capacity for Peace Like a Yogi

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Expanding the Capacity of Your Brain for Peace Like a Yogi

I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking lately as I jump into the foray of teaching skills to become more peaceful as a people. Expanding our capacities for peace is very much about the capabilities of our mind. For example, in the Peace Leader Academy Taming Your Triggers class, it takes a desire to even go into the realm of being triggered to develop the capacity not to be triggered. For many people, they have created all types of ways to avoid being triggered, as it’s such an uncomfortable emotional experience.

In Michael Singer’s book “The Untethered Soul” he talks about the “thorn” that we put layers and layers upon to protect our selves from its sharp edges. Our triggers are our thorns. Yet it is the “protecting” layers that keep us limited by our limitations.

I’ve been watching in fascination as people are attacking the presidential candidate Marianne Williamson about her “praying” for hurricane victims. What I’m seeing in their snarky comments are the protective layering from people traumatized by religiosity over the years. Having been there myself, I can hardly blame them. However, I also realize it’s a trigger that if tamed, could expand their capacity for being peaceful way beyond their current state. After all, the most important person to realize the value of an expanded capacity for peace is yourself. This is why we made the “Taming Your Triggers” ten-hour online class the first one in the Peace Maker Program. Taming your triggers expands your brain’s capacity for peace.

And this gets me to the purpose of this blog post – Expanding Your Brain Capacity for Peace Like a Yogi. In yoga teacher training, I learned several key concepts when creating a yoga class. One is to gradually ramp people into the class’ “peak pose.” This is the pose that takes special warm-up and capability to achieve. The other is that while the goal of yoga may seem to stretch beyond what we’re currently capable of doing, the real purpose is to only stretch far enough to find your true resting place of comfort and ease.

The challenge with doing this with your brain, is you’re only going to go as far as you’ll allow yourself to deal with your triggers. You’ll stay locked into a small world of comfort and ease to make sure that your triggers are not going to be tripped. For those trying to get people into a “peak pose” of expanded consciousness, we have to adjust what that “peak pose” can be.

Just like in teaching yoga, you must be able to offer your students levels of difficulty of poses. As not everyone comes to class at the same capability level based on a number of factors – body type, depth of their practice, challenges of the day, etc. In helping people expand their brain capacity, my fellow blogger Luna Clair and I yesterday came up with three levels of brain expansion capability.

  1. Conventional Wisdom – this is the level that most people have seen or heard and can buy into with minimal trigger tripping or triggers that are surface enough to easily work through.
  2. Mostly Mavericks – this level of people like being charged and see it for the catalyzing energy it does offer. They are the “bring” it folks who want more.
  3. Meta Humans – at this level these folks want to go way out there to expand the realms of their consciousness and mind power. They’ll dive into the depths of what holds them back drinking whatever Koolaid is required to get past their self-created limitations. We call these folks “seekers.”

There are levels in between these three – but for our purposes, we’re going to frame our work in these blogs to these three levels of exploration. Just like a good yoga class, we want to be able to stretch people to their edges so they can expand their place of comfort and ease – at whatever level they join us.

Two Blogs, Two Purposes

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

My last post on this blog, last December – it was time to make some changes in how I was blogging to better support Cheetah Learning.   We are meeting our goals with better Search Engine Optimization through blogging efforts with the Cheetah Learning blog. In the Cheetah world (as in the rest of the world), a lot changes in nearly a year, and I realized, I want and need a blog separate from the main Cheetah Learning blog.   I need a forum to share whatever new and crazy idea I’m testing out – my latest recipe, insight, challenge I’ve set for myself, etc.  I also have a new marketing team at Cheetah Learning who are inspiring me in new ways with the Cheetah Learning blog so I have more brain space now too to share other parts of me.

The 15 Week Neurofeedback Experience – resurrecting my personal blog to track this.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing some type of self – improvement challenge.  I started a new round of neurofeedback training to continue to work on optimizing my brain performance.   My father passed away at the end of June and my brain was not performing as well as I wanted it to – just like it did after my mother passed away.  Losing one’s parents is a signifcant life stressor – so I guess I’m just “normal.”  I found my way to a neurofeedback clinic that specializes in a form of neurofeedback called Quantitative EEG I had been wanting to test out.  We set up a 15 week program to get my brain waves and connections operating in an optimal state.   I’ve already done three sessions and I’m liking the impact on my self-discipline and get up and go.  So I figure it might be a great time to blog about the changes I’m experiencing as I go through this 15 weeks of QEEG neurofeedback.

I am doing three to four hour long sessions  a week of QEEG training.  We are starting out with one channel programming to reduce the amplitude of my alpha waves.  For me, with loss and grief,  with the right temporal lobe damage sustained when I was thrown out of the car at four years old, my brain behaves in some odd ways.  Most people’s Alpha waves decrease when doing tasks (this is when the Beta waves naturally increase).  But for me, while I’m not all that conscious I’m upset,  and think I’m coping fine, I will start having a hard time staying awake while reading or working on the computer.  This is a sign my Alpha waves are taking over when they are supposed to be quieting down.   So the first task is to help me stay awake while I’m working.  I’d say it’s working – still at it on this blog, no sleepiness.

The next phase is to get all parts of my brain firing in the right patterns.  While the first brain improvement activity in 2013 got more blood to the damaged parts of my right side of my brain, the QEEG report showed the connections are not balanced on the right side.   So once we quiet down the Alpha waves, we are starting on improving the connection balance throughout my brain.  It will be fun to see what happens with that – stay tuned.

My First Live TV Interview – KTVU Tomorrow to Talk about Project Management

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Share a first with me - my first live TV interview on Channel 2 in the Bay Area - or watch it on the net - www.ktvu/live. 9:30 AM Tuesday January 19, 2016

Share a first with me – my first live TV interview on Channel 2 in the Bay Area – or watch it on the net – www.ktvu/live. 9:30 AM Tuesday January 19, 2016

I’ve done hundreds of live radio interviews, and a number of taped TV interviews.   But I realized today, I have never done a live TV interview.  I’m so excited as how often in life do you get to have a first?   I was invited to do this interview on KTVU’s morning news show to talk about how Project Management has helped expand my PR team’s business (we’ve been working with the same Public Relations company Urban Dynamics for 14 years).   What’s even more exciting – it’s in our own back yard.  Cheetah Learning has been based just outside the Northern California Bay Area for as long as we’ve been working with Walter Urban and have Cheetah Alumni in over a hundred companies in the Bay Area (some very big companies too).  We even have a Cheetah Exam Prep for the PMP class in San Francisco this week.

Watch me live to share this first with me – www.ktvu.com/live at 9:30 AM.  (January 19, 2016).  If you’re in the Bay Area – it’s on Fox Channel 2.

The Goal Lab – Create Your Best Year Yet

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Use promotion code "goals2016" to get this $310 online 5 hour class for $50. If you are PMP certified, you earn 5 PDU's for this class. Offer valid for the first 50 registrants. Expires Dec. 31. 2015. http://www.cheetahlearning.com/wp/the-goal-lab/

Use promotion code “goals2016” to get this $310 online 5 hour class for $50. If you are PMP certified, you earn 5 PDU’s for this class. Offer valid for the first 50 registrants. Expires Dec. 31. 2015. Click Here

This is a topic near and dear to my heart – picking great goals and pursuing them with great gusto. Every year at this time, I brainstorm goals for the upcoming year and figure out the best way for me to pursue them. Granted, things come up during the year that sometimes change my course, but more often then not, some amazing experiences come out of this activity. I was asked by several colleagues to put together a quick 5 hour online class on the techniques I use to pick and pursue the goals that bring me such a fulfilling and satisfying existence.

This course is guaranteed to open your mind up to the goals that can bring you much happiness and help you find a way to pursue them in a way that makes it much more likely you’ll experience great success in your pursuit. We’re offering it to the first 50 people for $50 (it’s regularly $310). Use the promotion code “goals2016.”  Click Here.

Happiness Challenge – Learning

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

What I've learned today - when a rental car company wants to hit you with a huge one way drop off fee, check out how much less expensive it is to do the same trip with a Uhaul.  Granted you'll have to drive a moving van to get to where you're going, but you could make some extra cash on the adventure by moving someone's stuff too.

What I’ve learned today – when a rental car company wants to hit you with a huge one way drop off fee, check out how much less expensive it is to do the same trip with a Uhaul. Granted you’ll have to drive a moving van to get to where you’re going, but you could make some extra cash on the adventure by moving someone’s stuff too.

Had to hit the ground running AFTER I did my yoga practice today.  And I swear, I checked the ferry schedule three times – once when I made my tickets, once a couple weeks ago when I was concerned and once when I got here – yup – all said the ferry left Haines at 7 AM on Tuesday Dec. 1, 2015.  Arriving in Juneau in plenty of time to make the 2:20 PM flight to Seattle.  So my friend calls and asks what I’m up to today – leisurely last day in Haines.  I said – “yeah I’m catching the ferry at 7 AM tomorrow to Juneau.”  He says, “You sure?  That is the standard time it leaves Juneau for Haines.”  I say, “Yup, I know, I checked it three times.”   Well he checks, nope, it’s going the opposite way.   The ferry is leaving at 6:30 PM tonight to get to Juneau.

What did I learn?  Well first off, thank god I woke up thinking I had a leisurely day ahead of me. It made my new morning yoga routine so luxurious and peaceful.   I also learned – there is something messed up with the Alaska Marine Lines website (or how I’m using their website).   And for things as important as what time is the ferry leaving – CALL THE FERRY TERMINAL.

I also learned that if you need to drive from Seattle to Portland and drop off the rental car, the cost Budget Rental car quotes on the phone to do this is $650. (Reserving it online on the Budget site yourself saves you a handy $500 – WOW).  And if you rent a Uhaul, besides having to drive a 10′ box truck, you only pay $167 for the same service – whether you call them on the phone or do it yourself online. The added benefit of the Uhaul –  when you arrive in Portland you get a whole day to use a 10′ Uhaul truck.  And the Uhaul dealer is only a mile from my house, whereas dropping a car off at the closest drop off location airport is an hour round trip ordeal with either tying up a friend’s time or figuring out how to take public transportation or a cab home.  Even though the Uhaul could stimulate all types of “Uhaul date” type jokes, I’m leaning that way.   I still have a day to see if anyone wants to pay me to move anything from Seattle to Portland so I could possibly even turn a profit on this new found insight……

Weight Weight Just Love Me – Dreams – Day 55

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Carb Craving Dreams - My Subconscious is Rebelling.

Carb Craving Dreams – My Subconscious is Rebelling.

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

It’s amazing how my dreams have changed since I started working with my dietitian.  Now I dream of having cereal with milk for breakfast, or enjoying white bread slathered with butter, eating large plates of pasta, or a large cheese pizza, and then there is the plate of chocolate chip cookies (with nuts).  Yesterday I was longingly watching a show on the All Recipe Roku channel on making this luscious pound cake.  These dreams are so so easy to satisfy and I’m very happy what creates bliss for me is now so simple.  While I’ve become a pro at counting carbohydrates – and much more conscious of how these impact my blood sugar levels (and my overall health), I preferred life without carb restrictions.

I had a friend in my 30’s who said people who achieve their dreams too soon die young – was this what she meant?   At about the same time in my life, I was lamenting to my mother how my dreams of life long marriage died with my divorce – her encouraging response was – “you’re young you can create new dreams.”   The same is true here.  Is it really worth it to hold onto dreams of high carbohydrate delights?  Loving myself more may require expanding my dreams beyond the carbs I’m currently craving.

 

Kate’s comment: I think that the fact that carbohydrates are appearing in your dreams shows how close of an emotional connections food can have for us. Sometimes, it’s foods like this that can be higher maintenance for our bodies and need to be watched a bit more closely than others. Very interesting that for you, this manifested in your dreams.

September 20 – Peace & Good Will

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

CL_9-20-2015Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) Tip of the Day

September 20 – Choose your goals and your actions so you can live in peace with others and goodwill with your own thriving.

September 19 – Enduring Happiness

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

CL_9-19-2015Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) Tip of the Day

September 19 – You attain enduring happiness when you learn how to put your heart and soul into using your innate strengths to pursue clear goals.

September 18 – Equanimity

Friday, September 18th, 2015

CL_9-18-2015Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) Tip of the Day

September 18 – A great paradox of pursuing a goal is the role “equanimity” plays in the journey. It seems as soon as you surrender to what is, the steps to achieve your goal happen without effort.