Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ego Tripped Up...Almost

There's a funny thing about being a professional in anything. You often identify so heavily with that view of yourself through that lens. Branching out into the unknown can be a challenge. So what do I mean mean by that? Well for starters, for me it was this blog. I have been a graphic designer for 13 years so I kept telling myself that I couldn't possibly start a blog without creating some stellar design that perfectly reflected my personality. But the interesting thing was that I really had no interest in creating a visually captivating blog. I wanted to write. But I kept putting it off because, "I AM a graphic designer." So essentially I was putting on hold what my heart wanted because of my ego. My ego was holding on so tightly to the graphic designer lens that it ground all other progress to a halt.

The second part of this has more to do with the newest aspects of my life which consist of the lifecoaching certification, the Reiki, etc. My teacher Anne always said (roughly paraphrased), "You will attract the clients and situations that are best suited for you in your work." I've also heard it said time after time that everyone has to start somewhere. There will always be someone who does it better than you and there will always be someone who does it worse than you. And there are clients and situations that are perfect for everyone as long as there is passion and love behind the work. I also have been told that if the path is the right one for you, the way should be easy. Now I'm not saying it's without challenges and hard work but it should not feel like beating your head against a closed door day after day. If that happens, it means there are better options.

I had been trying to gain the confidence to teach a workshop. I was incredibly excited about the idea but I kept feeling like I should read one more book or take one more class and what I was really doing was hiding behind my own self doubt. My sweetie said to me a while ago that when they send someone to teach new computer software, they don't send their "A" guy to teach a beginner class. They send the "C" guy because that's all the class really needs in that circumstance. The "A" guy is sent to teach the advanced class. So simply put, there is room for everyone at every level. And as long as you are up front about your experience, you will attract the people who need you at the level where you currently are. Just like in anything else you do. Then as you move forward, those older opportunities will fall to someone new. So often people are fearful of others taking work that used to be theirs. I believe that's simply life's way of nudging you forward to expand and challenge yourself. When you fight change, that's when things get rough.

So on that note, yes my blog is not very visually engaging. And for now, that is just fine by me. It may be some day but I'm not worrying about it. As far as the workshops are concerned, yes they are my first. I'm very excited and I definitely have some jitters but my stagnation time is over. Time to get the waters flowing and get to work on my dreams.

The Universe doesn't like you to get too comfortable. True joy doesn't come from hiding in the daily sameness of your life. Egos are funny things. I am a graphic designer, I am a Reiki practitioner, I am, I am, I am...none of those things. They are things I do. I am me. And I change everyday. Because I can.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sleep Tips for the Frustrated and Exhausted.

Getting a good night's sleep is something that I have struggled with for quite some time. There have been many times that I have wandered through my day, unable to focus looking like something from night of the living dead. I can fall asleep very easily. My problem specifically was waking up about 3-4 a.m. and not being able to fall asleep again until about 6 a.m. which does not make for a productive day. At least not for me. I am not one of those people that can function on a couple of hours. I also know that I have poor adrenal function and a lot of things I tried revolved around diet. Here is a list of all the things I've tried and the results.

1. Protein before bed-This was recommended to me by my nutritionist. It did have a decent effect but was not always full proof.

2. No alcohol near bedtime-This is sort of obvious but I've noticed that even one beer too close to bedtime can cause me to have a fitful night's sleep. I'm also going to include not eating any foods with chemicals or color dyes.

3. Aromatherapy-This is an excellent tool. My aromatherapist friend, "The Fragrant Muse" makes an excellent blend called Peaceful Sleep which contains roman chamomile, lavender, and some other oils. She had also recommended clary sage but that gives me crazy, unpleasant dreams. If I know my sleep problems that night are surrounding anxiety, I prefer a blend recipe that she recommended for general happy feelings which was geranium, bergamot, and cedarwood in a carrier oil. This is also a fantastic blend to have around if you have a tendency to feel stressed or out-of-control.

Now to the most recent of my self-experimetation...

4. 5HTP and time-release melatonin-The 5HTP also recommended by the Fragrant Muse. One of each right before bed. The time release is better for people who wake up and can't get back to sleep.

5. Phillips Go-lite. This is the model I have (they have a few models). It's supposed to help with SAD and sleep problems. Which I was skeptical at first but it really does work and improves my energy during the day as well. It's super light weight and I take it to work and use it when I start to feel draggy.

6. EFT Tapping-This is done by tapping certain acupressure points on the body and stating an affirmation. I like to use, "I sleep soundly and restoritively, each and every night and wake feeling refreshed and well-rested." You can do whatever works for you but always do it in a positive version. For instance do not use, "I will not sleep poorly tonight." Those affirmations will backfire. They have lots of videos on YouTube and this technique is one that is free to try!

7. The last and probably my favorite is this foot rubbing reflexology trick that my friend and Reiki Master (who is also a reflexologist) recommended. You take the palm of your hand and rub your foot front to back 87 times (front to back counts as one). Do this on each foot before bed. I am telling you, this one does the trick even if I go to bed not feeling particularly sleepy.

I have been doing tips 4, 6, and, 7 each night, #5 five days a week for about two months and it has been the best I've slept in YEARS. I rarely have trouble anymore. Now the unfortunate part is that when I started all of these things I was so desperate that I started them all at once so I cannot tell you if they are all really necessary BUT the beauty of it is, you can try #6 and #7 for free and see if that does the trick. The 5 HTP is $19.99 for 100mg, 60 tablets and the melatonin is 100 tablets for $6.99 (I use Now Foods brand).

So there's my list of recommendations. Hopefully if you are suffering with a sleep problem they will help you too.

My sweetie jokes that the reason I've been sleeping so well is that I'm exhausted from doing all of these steps. Maybe so. Either way I'll take it!
Sweet dreams everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why Pandora's Compass?

I decided for my very first blog post to shed some light on why I chose the name, "Pandora's Compass." I know you were all wondering anyway :-)

I am currently a graphic designer and have been for thirteen years but in the past two years I have completed a holistic health practitioner certification (life coach) and Level II Reiki practitioner training. I am also exploring and training in crystal healing therapy and aromatherapy among others. I wanted to find a name that represented the kind of life that I was beginning to grow into.

I have always had a fascination with the name "Pandora." After recently looking it up, I found that originally, Pandora actually means "all giving" and that, according to Wikipedia, an alternate name for Pandora is Anesidora which means "she who sends up gifts." Additionally, it says, "Pandora/Anesidora would have taken on aspects of Gaea and Demeter. She would embody the fertility of the earth and its capacity to bear grain and fruits for the benefit of humankind." Very different from the mythic figure most of us historically know her to be. Simply a woman who unleashed the evils of the world. But even from that darker side of the myth, the opening of the box (or jar) was out of curiosity and not from a desire to fill the world with misery.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked this woman.

1. She didn't blindly listen to what others told her to do.
2. She had a relentless curiosity that could not be suppressed.
3. She gave the world the gift of being able to experience a more richly lived life.

You can't experience joy without knowing sorrow.
You can't experience love without knowing fear. Etc. Etc.

I am not an expert on mythology, by any stretch of the imagination, but that is what I happily took from it.

So, to me, Pandora represents, nature and a giver of beneficial gifts. She was a free spirit full of curiosity who decided not to follow the rules of others.

The compass part of course represents your inner compass. The intuitive side of yourself that you must learn to reconnect with and honor. This is the side that knows your true north. The direction you should move toward to create your highest and best self. Often this side is shrouded in the daily tasks and stresses you encounter but it's always with you. The most important thing you can do is develop that intuition. Because ultimately no one else can truly know what your path should be but you. But we can talk about all of that another day.

For now, share your natural gifts, walk your own path, stay curious and...
Live Life with the Lid Off!