balance

Do Less

Accomplish More

The day flies by and at the end, there’s something missing.  You’ve checked many things off your “to do” list and yet that seems like a hollow victory.  You’re not satisfied with the day and what you’ve accomplished.

While many may feel this way from time to time, in my early years, this nagging feeling was always present.  At the age of 26, I was an industrial engineer working for a Fortune 100 company in the Lehigh Valley.  My friends and family thought I had it made. I was young, drove a hot sports car, had a good income and was upwardly mobile in a major corporation.   And yet every workday I was counting the hours till I could leave work and begin my life.

The inner me was sick, maybe dying.  Then one evening, with nothing else to do, I accompanied a friend to a lecture about meditation.  The teacher presenting the talk told us that there’s something missing in most people’s lives.  He said what’s missing isn’t “out there” in the world, it’s inside!

Was I looking for contentment and satisfaction in the wrong places?  I was climbing the ladder of success at work, but was it against the wrong wall?  I was trying to be a good engineer, a good employee, a good son and a good friend.  There was lots of pressure and it was tiring.  My employer, for example, told me that I needed to spend a minimum of 10 hours a day at work if I wanted to get ahead. 

In desperation and with hope, I followed up on my gut instinct that night and enrolled in the meditation course. Almost immediately, I experienced a significant shift toward greater happiness and well-being. Two years later, I found myself enrolling in a year-long training program to become a meditation teacher.   

In training, our teacher frequently told us that we were learning to “do less and accomplish more.” Just sit, close your eyes and be still.  Inside you will find the peace and contentment that you have always desired.  It’s our essence, pure awareness, and it’s found at the source of thought.  Life is not meant to be a struggle. Make a practice of returning to the quiet mind every day. The positive influence on the quality of your life will be magical. 

Let me know if I can help.   

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

Feldenkrais®: Making the Impossible, Possible and Easy!

Anna, a middle aged mother of two has been experiencing more and more physical pain as she gets older. A childhood auto accident left her with physical challenges, but now her hip is the main concern. Her physician said that she would probably need a hip replacement in her future.

Naturally, Anna became very fearful about this prognosis and mentioned it to Laura, her good friend. Laura told her that she had read an article recently about an alternative health modality called Feldenkrais that helps people with hip problems, arthritis, and other painful physical conditions.

Anna was a little skeptical, but pursued the search for a Feldenkrais practitioner and made an appointment immediately. Sure enough, her experience after her first private session, which was called Functional Integration®, made her feel very hopeful.  Her tight muscles felt more relaxed and she was more aware of her body feeling more open. The practitioner used gentle, non-invasive touch and verbal instruction to guide her in her own movement process. As she walked down the hall after this session, she felt taller, her balance seemed to be better, and her hip was not hurting like it did before the treatment.

After a couple private Functional Integration sessions, the practitioner suggested that Anna attend some Feldenkrais classes called “Awareness through Movement.”  During the class the practitioner verbally directed the students to highly sophisticated movement sequences that were very pleasurable and effortless.  She did most of these exercises while on a floor mat, but there were others in the class who did them sitting in a chair.

Since Anna has been attending the classes for a couple months and doing the exercises at home, she has gradually felt less and less pain in the hip area. Her balance and flexibility has greatly improved along with her range and ease of movement.

What her original research said was that Feldenkrais exercises help at a fundamental level by improving the body’s underlying neuromuscular and skeletal organization. Learning new ways to move can be an essential addition to the treatment of neurological, orthopedic, chronic pain and stress-related conditions.

Since she caught the problem soon enough, surgery in her future is unlikely; however, she has learned that those who do have hip surgery still benefit greatly from the Feldenkrais classes because their physical therapy recovery is so much easier and faster.

Feldenkrais classes and private sessions are available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.

There is never enough food for a hungry soul!

Many of us realize that we are overweight and/or recognize that we are driven by food cravings that lead to unhealthy food choices. And most of us are aware of the impact of being over weight or obese – lethargy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems are just a few of the major complications. So, why do we continue to overeat and make unhealthy choices about food?

Ultimately, it’s not about the food, it’s about the lack of fulfillment (the hungry soul) inside us. It drives us to eat to satisfy an emotional not physical need.

How do we bring greater fulfillment to our lives and make healthier food choices? A good place to start is with positive lifestyle habits such as exercise and meditation.
Effortless Meditation™ changes our brain and improves our thinking; brain waves
become more coherent and orderly during our meditation.  The state of restful alertness in our meditation brings peace and serenity to our lives. Adding this revitalizing experience, ideally as a daily practice, works wonders.

Try one month of feeding your soul daily by quieting your mind with meditation. I suspect you will quickly notice that you are developing a growing awareness and sensitivity about your need or lack of need for food. Making healthier and smart food
choices comes more easily, almost automatically with growing awareness.

With greater mental clarity and awareness, you will be better prepared to improve the quality of the food that you are consuming. Just as a high performance engine does best on high octane fuel, we thrive when our food is packed densely with nutrients. In
contrast, if we eat foods that are mostly “empty calories” (e.g. soda, white flour and highly processed nutrient sparse foods) we will continue eating and consuming excessive calories in order to get the nutrients that your body needs. Nutrient dense foods energize us and satisfy our hunger with fewer calories.

Be gentle with yourself, meditate, get some exercise, and eat well.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

The Incredible Value of Play for Adults!

Carol was bored on her daily one-hour walks, so she inventeda game to entertain herself. In the next two blocks she would take exactly 300 steps. Walking as “normally” as possible; first day – needed 25 mini steps, second day – needed 10  giant steps, third day-tried zig-zags and only needed 10 mini steps (zig-zags were fun), and so on.

Little did she know that as she was playing she was also improving her mind; improving the way her brain and body handled space, time, design, and even stress.  So, later she was surprised when she was able to avoid a car which had suddenly swerved into her lane by almost effortlessly maneuvering her car, going off the road safely and well.

Play can be lifesaving which is why the military teaches its officers how to improve their ability to play. Einstein riding on a trolley, pretended (played) to ride a light beam as he was watching the town hall clock which enabled him to get the insight he needed to discover that e = mc sq. Miles Davis played with the notes to find the “real” music.

Play helps us deal with our ordeals, and lighten the stress and loads of our lives. Play opens up and heightens our short-term memory and can even help us use our dreams to solve problems, especially creative problems.

Play can help us to use all our talents and skills better, and even lower pain levels and help us heal faster. Play can bring incredible insights into the way you and others function in daily life.

Many people have discovered that a family that plays together is creating a structure and trust that helps when problems arise. The same trust issues can be developed by play in business, which is why those golf and other outings are important and worth the time and money.

There is a funny paradox:  play can improve us without our knowing it. Useful play is a skill that can be improved. You too can learn how to use play more effectively which is why I have joined with Jungian and play expert, Dr. Mary Alice Long, to create the workshop: “Know Thy Self and Play for Success.”

Join us for four days of playful transformation. For more information see our flyer.  Learn how to play with your problems and stress and turn them into the game pieces of success, as you also improve your
creativity and leadership abilities (including parenting).  Besides, we are going to be playing and we’re going to have fun!

By Betsy Wetzig, Originator of Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training

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The Best Vacation Ever

A client said, “this Effortless Meditation™ is like a mini-vacation, and I get to take it everyday!”

As the complexity of life increases, the need for balance is greater than ever.  Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, and it has in many ways done that.  For example, who would want to give up the instant information access provided by the internet?   And yet the pace of progress and life today is relentless, overwhelming.

In the area of marketing alone, every week or month there seems to be a new method of delivering your message.  And we’re always encouraged to grab onto the new in order to keep up. At the same time, overwork is practically seen as a professional virtue.  Is it any wonder that anti-anxiety medication sales are at record levels.

Yesterday, I was reading an article from a popular columnist who was saying that while on vacation at a remote island off the coast of South Carolina, his children were at a loss because there was no internet access.  What are we to do, they complained?  This is a sign of our times.  Let’s explore, he suggested, “there are turtles and salamanders in these waters, osprey and eagles in the trees, and an ocean for playing.” The kids weren’t buying it, they were frustrated.

Our children are not the only ones so afflicted.  Adult minds have become so busy keeping up or being entertained that the slower pace of nature can seem boring.  We are over stimulated and the solution is simple.  Regularly give our brain a rest.  Reach beyond all mental activity, that’s a true vacation.  Interior silence, in its essence, is freedom from thought.  We need to transcend the activity of daily life, go beyond thinking, watching, tasting, the activity of the senses, in order to be free.

Try Effortless Meditation, yoga, or just spend some quiet time in nature.  Learn to quiet your mind, and for maximum benefits make this a daily habit/vacation.  Your life will be happier and lighter, and you will become much healthier.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for over 30 years