MA-losophy: Creating Something to Look Forward To

Dog walking, common dialogue usually begins with “Is your dog friendly?” A positive head nod makes for joyful dogs sniffing each others’ genitals, tails dancing, maybe some french kissing, and then idle conversation begins between owners.

This day I began with, “Wow,” your dog has a beautiful coat!” She replied, “You should have seen her two years ago.  She had no hair at all.  She’s 13.”

“13?  Well, she looks great.  You’d never know it,” I praised.

I’m 70 now.  I’ve gone through so many health issues.  …Several strokes. It used to be that I always had something to look forward to, but now I can barely function,” lamented the owner of the little black dog playing with my rat terrier.

“I would have never guessed you were having so many challenges.  You look beautiful, healthy, and much younger than 70,” I shared (I spoke the truth, she truly did).

Exchanging a few more pleasantries, we completed our conversation by wishing each other well.  I finished my walk reflecting on the idea of “looking forward to…” Digging further into my own psyche I recalled times when I’ve felt engaged and how that contributed to my growth.

Some who feel depressed decide to go deeper inside themselves, become loners.  Alone time can be important; however, when coupled with a certain amount of social engagement, growth opportunities can emerge — type “people are social beings” in an internet search and read to your heart’s content on this subject.  Key in “people in need” and a city name in a search engine and cause after cause rolls down the screen.  Participating and experiencing things past just the individual can create a larger reality and connection with a circle of people that understand the value of reaching out and helping others move forward.

The MA-losophic thought for today is make a list of when engagement and growth were accomplished in your past.  Notice the large impact of the small experiences.  It can serve as one key to exploring ideas for the future.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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MA-losophy: Imperfectly finding a new normal

The academic semester ended and grades were assigned; my oldest completed her undergraduate degree; my son made it through another semester in his undergraduate program; my vegetable and ornamental gardens were planted; my business commitments were manageable and comfortable; I was weeks away from a family vacation so no rushing.  So, I observed myself.  Well, at least this time and self-talked, “Michelle, don’t fill the time just because you have it.”  So I pondered over the past few months.

The winter was a long one.  I had to take another close look at myself as I forever and imperfectly reach toward the vision of striking the balance of finding and achieving voice for myself and others.

My first book in the early 2000′s — Adventures of a Mainstream Metaphysical Mom, Finding Peace of Mind in a World of Diverse Ideas — was 200+ pages of coming out of the closet.  My rawest — I’ve had enough and I’m not going to take it anymore — public voice put me in the vulnerable position of being found out.  I could no longer pretend to be someone I wasn’t.  Returning to the academic world and attending Graduate school with the intention of teaching composition and writing re-ignited my search for a new normal and brought back old insecurities.

Emotionally regressing with each course, I began to feel like I should hide my wholistic and integrative work, my personality, dress differently to reflect another type of image, and even felt defensive at times.  I was losing myself when in the academic environment (like I did in corporate America).  Again.  Other equivalent comparisons could be: connecting with high school chums decades later and how the emotional self responds; bumping into a former lover; running into someone who has not seen you at your best.

By my third year in Graduate school I made a decision, then another, then another.  First I proclaimed, “I will quit the program after 18 hours” (a minimum requirement to teach in community college).  “I’ve had it…!”

I progressed to, “I will share who I am as a person and my work as a wholistic professional with the understanding that I won’t be a fit in certain environments.  I am not all things to all people.”  Then www.MichellePaytonWriter.com was born.

I didn’t do this alone, however.  This decisive semester, the Graduate professor that I was fortunate enough to experience dedicated hours of time to help me see through the eyes of “the” (conspiratorial) academics.  This didn’t mean agreement, just comprehension.  In one of my earlier blogs I share a thought on aligning up to aspire toward a new behavior.  This is more about understanding others’ positions to have a firmer understanding of who I am (or am not) within other contexts or worlds.

When I lost my footing my self-confidence and coping skills were short-circuited.  Once I re-established how I fit or didn’t, my proverbial posture straightened.  Researching self-acceptance, psychologists have observed that those owning who they are have more effective processes to deal with difficulties (rather than self-medicating, for instance), have a stronger sense of purpose, and more easily achieve goals (Wright, 2008).  But, be warned, this isn’t measured by approval of a large population of people.

Feeling good enough is one of the keys to finding new normals and comes with knowing that we do the best we can with the information that we have at the time.  Similar thoughts are shared in a Psychology Today article more extensively, with a suggestion that even our off-color behaviors are simply reactions to the intellectual, biological, and environment tools we have at the points of experiences (Seltzer, 2008).

The MA-losophy buck, for me, stops with the idea that I am saving myself and others time when I own and they witness my normal.  It’s tweaked regularly (we never step in the same stream twice) with infinite daily experiences, but essential elements remain the same.  If witnesses don’t like what they see…?  Well…  I forever and imperfectly continue to reach toward the vision of striking the balance of finding voice.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

References:

Seltzer, L.F. (2008).  Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/200809/the-path-unconditional-self-acceptance

Wright, K. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200804/dare-be-yourself

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MA-losophy: Align Up to Achieve Productive Patterns

My 12-year-old is on the playground.  A circle begins to form.  She smells trouble and leaves.  Minutes later, one of her classmates exits the circle with a mark on his face and he’s crying.  “What happened?” she asks.  “A 13-year-old middle schooler punched me in the face,” he responds.

This was a story shared with my husband and I during dinner.  We praised her for walking away from those types of circles, not only because she is safer, but because she won’t aspire to, be entertained by, or follow those who align themselves with this behavior (participating or observing).

Is this birds of a feather philosophy just a protective mom and dad making assumptions?

A research study of 228 students in sixth through eighth grade revealed that when students receive texts they reflect a similar voice and style when resending text messages (Cingel & Sundar, 2012).  Harmless?  Depends on the voice adopted.

As adults, research shows that we are who we hang out with.  77% of men who cheat on their partners have friends who have done the same thing (WebMD, n.d.).

Psychology experiments like the Stanford Prison Experiment (retrieved from http://www.prisonexp.org/) show how deeply people influence one another — to the point of becoming sadistic — within days of exposure. The Lord of the Flies phenomena (Video SparkNotes, n.d.) isn’t too far off the real life mark.

If you buy into any of the above points, then consider the following.  When you want to replace behaviors in yourself, you must also notice the people in your life that reflect or enable those same patterns.  The more significant the reflection the more difficult, if not impossible, it will be to adopt new behaviors without a great deal of willpower (see my 2013 blog MA-losophy: Do as I Do? for more information).

OK.  Maybe I’m being too politically correct and talking around what I really want to say.  Yeah.  I think I am.

What is my MA-losophy?  To be direct — for those who are truly committed to replacing unproductive patterns –  don’t permit yourself to be continually pulled back down by others’ stuck in your old patterns.  Stop the excuses.  Align up to be the person you aspire to be.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

References

Cignel, D. P., & Sundar, S. S. (2012). Texting, techspeak, and tweens: The relationship between text messaging and English grammar skills. Sage Publications. Retrieved from http:/nms.sagepub.com/content/14/8/1304

Lord of the Flies full movie (1990). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7ffCWSTNYM

Video SparkNotes:  William Golding’s Lord of the Flies summary (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tXpA3dIEtI

WebMD (n.d.). Retrieved from http://men.webmd.com/features/why-men-cheat

Zimbardo, P.G. Retrieved from http://www.prisonexp.org/

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MA-losophy: Goin’ on a Poop Walk

Working with clients in the mind over matter field, overall health is one of the keys to increasing willpower to overcome any dis-ease. My message today? Poop is important.

If my kids have a stomach ache, are bloated, have cramps, or are a bit out of sorts as a result of stress or other ailments I, generally, ask “Have you pooped today?” With a potential follow-up of “What does it look like?”

When my niece moved in with us for a few months to get a new start, she decided it was time to detox: cut back on caffeine, quit smoking… focus on her overall health. So, of course, she got the, “How often do you poop?” inquiry.

“Every two or three days?,” perplexed about what was coming next.

“Well, we have to fix that” and I pulled out the cleansing herbal tea, gave the magnesium when traveling and water hydration everyday lecture. She already knew about the fiber, fruits and vegetables maintenance, but she (like most) needed a more structured ritual to get her body on track.

My Poop Story

Why do I keep an eye on this sort of health indicator? When I moved out of my house my sophomore year of undergraduate school (about 19 years old), I began experiencing lower abdominal cramps; eventually bending over with stabbing pains every few days. When I’d finally go to the bathroom a black, pebble-looking stool would make a light splash and I would walk away defeated; knowing that I was in for a lot more discomfort the next round.

In the early 1980’s, the university healthcare professional I experienced was not very engaged. He scheduled me for a lower gastrointestinal exam to look for possible obstructions (that was not a whole lot of fun), but his ultimate advice was, “You will have to eat a high fiber cereal every day, for the rest of your life, to get enough roughage in your system” (nothing about hydration). So, I ate what my family members called “twigs” from about 1984 to 1994; every single day. But, my body still wasn’t in sink.

Then I went the homeopathic route: first clearing out the intestines then adopting a maintenance program. But, even in the mid-90’s the question was not posed, “How much water are you drinking?”

Overall hydration became the big thing in the early 2000’s (at least, in America), but something so simple just couldn’t be so miraculous, could it? Plus, let me just put up another wall and say that drinking water all day and a glass or two to prevent overnight hydration before bedtime meant visiting the bathroom constantly. What a dichotomy: wanting to go to the bathroom and not wanting to take the time to go to the bathroom. But nearly two decades of poop problems was getting old: especially when I travelled. Years of fiber cereal and Metamucil-type drinks, I did it: I drank between 40 and 70 ounces of water a day. Cautiously, over about one year, I weaned fiber supplements from my daily regiment and water hydrated my organs to wash waste from my body.

Of course, water wasn’t the only practice: walking regularly, eating healthy, sleeping regularly, having breakfast every morning, and other little tib-bits to get things moving like massaging your intestines by rolling your stomach (like a belly dancer).

When Poop Talk is Taboo

When my oldest was still in high school (in about 2008) she was on a travel team for volleyball. One of her team-mates lamented, “my stomach hurts.” You might guess how I responded… “Did you poop today?” As if just completing a religion or politics rant, I heard behind me, “That is completely inappropriate!” Turning around, it was the very offended mother.

I could expand on my thoughts. Nope. I better not.

Poop Dialogue

The message, of course, is if this subject is unmentionable then we aren’t paying attention to our bodies. A healthy brown, not too soft, with “c” or “s” curves released every day are what I look for before I flush. If rhythms change then my body is telling me something.

MA-losopher day in the life

After my nieces healthy breakfast she announced, “I’m going out for my poop walk.” In under ten minutes she returns, the bathroom door closes, then a flush and a joyful sigh of relief floats through the house. Today, one of her signs of health.

Whatever your journey, considering celebrating the poop in your life.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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Your Reflection may be My Reflection: How Ho ‘oponopono can get Perceptions to Zero if Unproductive

Having a family breakfast one Saturday morning my niece confessed, “I really didn’t like you, Aunt Michelle. And then about nine months ago…” When this type of comment is directed from one to another I wonder what does this (unliked) person reflect in the other?

It doesn’t mean that everyone we like or dislike isn’t doing something unfathomable, but in the world of Ho ‘oponopono it is about looking at the reflections of yourself; taking ultimate responsibility for all things you perceive.

Visualize, for example, looking in a mirror then smashing it into pieces. Looking into that same mirror as it’s lying on the floor, the shards still reflect you, but there are many facets.

Now, envision someone you don’t like standing beside you. Some of the fragments reflect both you and the other person. This is the same in life. There are elements of others that reflect us fully; as a result, there are times when we can’t look at others because we can’t look at ourselves. Even if you can’t grasp or embrace this concept, wouldn’t it be great if you could rid yourself of any discomfort; get it to zero so that your mind is clear?

Pattern interrupting is a key in mind over matter work: there is a perception of a problem and to change it is to change your life. My pattern interrupt response, for instance, from the first paragraph was, “Hmm. So what did you need to look at?” I, clearly, don’t own this type of emotional statement or my niece wouldn’t be living with me right now (clearly she did her work around that view or she wouldn’t be in my home).

What if I hadn’t had enough sleep or balanced meals that day, for instance? I might have thought something different so seeking stability (yes, myself not my niece) I would interrupt those feelings (in my head or aloud) by repeating, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”

Be clear, again, that this is about taking responsibility for my mirror image: “Dear mind, body and spirit, I’m sorry to put additional duress on you as I look at myself so please forgive me. I love you for supporting me as I get to the other side of this perception that’s keeping me from being the balanced entity I strive to be. Thank you for being so awesome.” Now, that not’s exactly what you would say in long-hand, but this gives you an idea of an internal conversation.

You may be tempted to exercise “yeah, but…” muscles. Being angry at others can be so much easier, at times, because you don’t have to take ownership; you are the victim. But many times we witness “the angry” creating agreement teams; classically known as gossip. Even if you have been wronged in a very clear sense — maybe you’ve lent money to others and haven’t been paid back on time, if ever – what was your role; your likeness? Right or wrong is not the point. Emotional duress must be released to create well-being.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice and books on this subject go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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MA-losophy: Finding Balance by tapping into Sense of Duty

In my mind over matter practice a common question is “What’s my Purpose?” Today, I’m going to take “purpose” out of the phrase and look at an expression that continues to play in my head: sense of duty.

First, I’ll define purpose from my perspective. To fulfill one’s purpose, those most wise consider others’ impacted and, at times, must be willing to walk away following mutual learning while also being grateful for their participation in the experience. Conversations might follow threads like: “I had to do ‘x’ to follow my path;” confused and maybe even feeling hopeless one might say “I don’t know what my purpose is, so what’s the point?;” frustrated or angry “I don’t understand your point” or “You don’t have a good point;” joyful, “I feel a strong pull to… this must be my purpose.”

My truth? We are simply guessing at what our purpose might be at any given moment. In my humble opinion that’s OK. It gives us comfort and with that we can spread warmth to others we touch; even if not completely correct, positive vibes grow.

Duty? Bigger than one person, this encompasses looking at a forest of people, eco-needs, families (for instances) and recognizing that there are a certain number of trees that must be addressed to serve the many; “What’s my purpose?” is one of the saplings.

Being a strong proponent of numerology (even in my clinical work) the Life Path number, Sun Sign, and Birth Order (what I call Birth Mix Patterns) can give indications of how to feed one’s sense of duty (click http://www.michellepayton.com/BMP-calculations.htm for self-help: to understand how to calculate). However, questions, confusion, frustration can result in stress and there is another number that I’ve come to rely on to dig more deeply into creating well-being and finding voice.

When stressed (the dominant reason why the masses experience dis-ease), embracing a personality branch that creates inner relief includes the Balance Number (for self-help and to calculate see http://www.decoz.com/Do_reading_numerology-02_Balance.htm ). Clinically, while I might not share this revelation with clients that have no interest in numerology, this indicates how one can more easily handle pressure.

If accessing that balance isn’t possible then more work may need to be broached: EFT, NLP, other mind over matter concepts. Cosmic inner workings might include: if a “7,” one must have access to research or data so how can one serve in this capacity; if a “1,” one must be out in front and what does out front mean; if a “3,” voice must be genuinely heard and what communities find this of value. Knowing that these exist – Birth Mix Patterns and the Balance Number – can create ah ha moments for those who connect to numerology.

Invasive plantings can temporarily take over, but with commitment can always be pulled. Moving past “my purpose,” establishing seedlings, nurturing then multiplying them into a sense of duty forest creates a radiance past self. Being shaded by this type of well-being, however, must be sought out by the individual and requires taking responsibility for the eco-system that has been built in one’s mind, body and spirit to date.

To learn more about my mind over matter practice, review numerology report offerings, and my three books that address the subject of Birth Mix Patterns (astrology, numerology, and birth order) go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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MA-losophy: Do as I Do?

When traveling by airplane, before lifting-off the stewards give a standard lesson on safety: if oxygen masks drop from the ceiling of the plane put the mask on yourself prior to putting one on your child(ren). What a powerful symbol as a parent: Care for yourself so that you are able to care for your children.

There is an old saying (I have no idea where it came from) that you are only as happy as your least happy child. While I can release most distractions at this point in my life and keep my balance, the incidences that most linger for me are when my children are lost, confused, hurt, worried… I felt I was most needed when they were small: change diapers, nurse, feed, bathe. But now that two are in their twenties, their issues are bigger; more life altering. There are times when I can help and others where I have to, painfully, watch from the sidelines; one of my toughest, most constant, lessons is to know the difference. What I am sure of is when I am permitted to give advice it is a result of my kids consistently watching me without my knowing (the empirical data they gather in the form of life experiences).

For instance, my oldest child had an issue with weight when she was in elementary school. We, my husband and I (now together 31 years), were perplexed: what were we doing wrong, what are we feeding her at home that we aren’t eating, we walk nearly every day as a family, our kids are active and her brother didn’t have weight issues? We discovered that once she had a school lunch debit card to make independent purchases — and we put an endless supply of money on her card — she was purchasing candy and additional unhealthy options at school. After further exploration we found that she and my husband are always hungry; once they finish their meals they think about when and what they will have next. This type of consciousness, and knowing that this is normal (therefore categorized as OK), moved them into patterns to create better health.

To have the clearest heads and be the most effective parents, influencers, mentors, leaders, guardians, lovers, partners, friends, we must emulate (or, at least, be close to) the gold standards that we recommend. For instances:

–Eating healthy is a must: eating breakfast (find a minimum go to); eating, at least, one other healthy meal; eating healthy in-between meals if this is a better fit.

–Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night: Creating a schedule that is easier on the body and mind; there are some exceptions but the more ritualistic sleep becomes the easier it is on the body.

–Kicking habits: For instance, to decrease caffeine intake, once eating consistently healthy and getting optimal sleep for four weeks, replace the habit (caffeine with non-caffeine, for instance). Smoking cessation can (usually) only be successful if eating and sleeping patterns are steady.

–Volunteer: Budget and donate time to serve something larger than you. This also creates a sense of community that connects to others that are heart-centered, kind, and value clear and positive thinking.

–Budgeting money: Save a set percentage of money. Be conscious of spending patterns to live within your means. Donate (every little bit counts) to your chosen communities.

–Other Healthy Practices to create clear body and mind: Self-medicating interrupts patterns artificially and simply does not work. Stress can be self-addressed through pranayama breathing, meditation, mindful walks, running, yoga, and many other rituals.

–Gratitude Exercises: Spend time thinking about the good in your life by writing or verbalizing; celebrate accomplishments every week.

–Communicate with Integrity: If you are replacing habits, find a support group or person(s) who is willing listen to you at your weakest moments; when you feel like you are about to fail or are failing you must tell the truth (to yourself and others; lying erodes credibility and – in worst cases — self-destruction). This means that you must find people whose personal agendas connect to your higher good, but won’t lie to you as well.

As a Ma-losopher, I have to remember that when I expect certain actions from my children (as well as clients), I must live them; I do this sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully as I am a work-in-progress. I have to put on my oxygen mask first to be most effective. And while this won’t exactly match your gold standard list, maybe it’s time to understand your-losophy on paper to move through life more mindfully.

If you want to learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.

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When it Comes to Cultural Norms Just Call Me Crazy

I can’t tell you how many clients (in my mind over matter practice) think they’re crazy because they believe someone else has the authority to put the stake in the ground called “normal.” Many believe that the media is responsible for labels that evolve around a people or group, but I’m going to approach this subject and say that we are all culprits. One reason is that we don’t know that certain norms aren’t customary to others. And, guess what? We can’t read minds! There are a whole lot of norms that aren’t common to a whole lot of folks; in fact billions!

My French mentor (who is French born and has been my teacher for two plus years) educates me on European culture as well as the language. For instance, when she asked me what I made for Thanksgiving and I asked how “one says [on dit] jello mold” she responded, “We don’t have [nous n’avons pas] jello.” Really [Vraiment]? No jello? Then I get the all too familiar just-because-Americans-eat (or do)-this-doesn’t-mean-the-French-do nod and we moved onto [la dinde, pommes de terres, et haricots verts] turkey, potatoes and green beans.

There are deeper conversations that have given me more insight about the French which can sometimes apply to “all Europeans” in regards to parenting trends, child adoptions, pet adoptions, purchasing homes, gardening, wine, food, the EU, politics. The list goes on but an interesting cultural norm that Americans have that nearly all other country in the world completely don’t understand astounded me. In fact, now I’m not sure I understand it after more exploration.

First, a bit about my teacher. She is a (retired) tenured professor in political science from the University of Arizona. She was born at the end of World War II when France had to rebuild; her Grandfather transported many Jewish people to safe houses during the war; her Grandmother was forced to care for several Nazi officers at the same time (they simply knocked on her door one day and demanded, “You will take care of us”); has lived, worked and played in countless countries; speaks French, English, and German fluently; and has lived in America for forty years. She has experienced many “firsts” in the United States (sometimes labeling them good or bad, but usually categorizes them as simply different), but seeing the American flag hanging from citizens’ homes was shocking.

She quietly inquired within her European circles about this strange habit (four decades ago) and they responded with the familiar titled head nod, raised eyebrows and “I don’t know why ‘they’ do that.” She went on to explain that the hanging of a country’s flag on anything but a government building or during sporting events would communicate that a village or country is occupied by force (like Nazi Germany).

Vraiment?

I decided to do some web searches and I could find pages and pages of rules on how to or how not to hang the American flag. I even found a research study about who is most likely to hang an American flag (http://www.pewresearch.org/2007/06/27/who-flies-the-flag-not-always-who-you-might-think/). But, when I looked for flag usage for other countries all I could find were usages during military acts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colours,_standards_and_guidons); no rules on what other countries expect when hanging flags from citizens’ homes. So, if rules aren’t published does this say that it doesn’t happen?

The closest I could get to another country being perplexed by the American habit of hanging flags from their homes was a miniscule, low-ranked question posted on a UK and Ireland Yahoo Answers forum from 2010 (http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100525155300AAiYPgQ). Maybe billions of other people in the world might have a thought similar to this UK/Ireland post:
“I’m not bothered by it, it’s just rather odd for the population of the world’s most powerful state to ‘state their Independence’ to their next door neighbours, (and delivery men, taxi drivers and anyone else who happens to walk or drive passed) when it hasn’t been under treat for well over 200 years. If it happens in Tibet or Palestine I could understand but a safe, secure superpower?” (later responding to an American who took a slight offense) “…I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with patriotism, I’m interested in the expression of it, the times when it is expressed and if/when such expression leads to dangerous nationalism…”

I will remind readers that I am American (born and raised) and this has always been a part of the landscape in areas where I’ve lived, but observers (of basically every other country in the world) may attach certain assumptions that become culturally normal. (You can fill in the blanks; I’m not going there.)

OK, so here’s the point. When it comes to cultural norms, we can’t read others’ minds. Being receptive students and kind information providers rather than cultural norm hoarders ready to strike out at others as if their intentions are meant to hurt rather than help or are insane rather than sane, is not the most productive route. I’ll go out on a limb here: How about we assume the best? Sure, there’s a time and a place for confrontation, but how might we openly provide and receive information? Or, just call me crazy.

If you want to learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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Left and Right Brain and How it Impacts our Balance

I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write from my right. Regardless of audience, an idea floats into my consciousness during a walk; while I’m in the shower; taking a quiet tea time; while I’m driving (where this blog topic was born). Right brainchildren find themselves on tattered, torn, tea or water-stained pieces of paper on my night stand and office desk. Eventually, I nurture the infant that cries for the most attention through free writing (writing what comes to mind on a given subject), then I sit back and admire it; the art of it.

I don’t always critique my children enough (my weakness, I know, I’m a work-in-progress). I’m busy connecting to the growth of the content. I can always edit it down later; well, that’s my excuse at least.

But, they’re a part of my spirit: discovery (initially) through low stakes writing. Grammar and spelling aren’t a priority at this stage. The Creating, Inventing, Conceptualizing on the right side of my brain is where I find myself most relaxed; I’m most pleased with my writing in this realm. The left is more linear, numbers, data-oriented, but I find myself missing my voice; “I” and “we.” My content generation is sown on the right, however my left side is my follow-thru: the dotting of “i’s” and crossing of “t’s.” Combining the left and right is a must to send my most developed offspring out into the world.

When I was in the tattered paper, invention stage of this blog, I was searching for easy-to-understand brain research that would give tips on how to rev up left and right brain work and use them to our advantage, but then I came across an unusual study titled: “Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.” I was intrigued by the title and it makes for awesome and unique parlor conversations so I jumped in feet first.

It was a position paper for the American Indian Leadership Program in April 9, 1982. When I explored the author (Allen Chuck Ross), I found on his YouTube interview that “Dr. Allen ‘Chuck’ Ross (Ehanamani) has been a teacher, principal, superintendent, college professor, college department chairman, author.” Referencing sound brain research on how the left and right brain works in his paper, he connected the science findings to how it impacts his community traditions and norms, the educational trends, why (written) language in (all but one) Native American Indian culture was not developed due to the emphasis on symbols, and makes an interesting correlation to spiritual practices:
“Native American spiritual people have developed methods to deal with this competition of the hemispheres. Since the spiritual side of the brain is the right side, and verbal dominant is the left, spiritual people practice a technique which allows both sides to exist without fear of being out of balance… Almost all Native American spiritual people have a concept which enables this psychological balance to occur” (3).

He shared a number of correlations to loosely conclude that “It has been determined that traditional Native Americans are more dominant in right hemisphere thinking” (4) and this will ultimately be problematic for his people since academic institutions see more value in left brain processes (click on the link below for more information, his paper is only a few pages and an easy and quick read). So, what should we consider when looking, literally, at the one-sided argument; if I’m right-brained in a left-brained society am I doomed?

We gravitate to our own strengths; mine is birthing ideas using my right brain. Peppering in a little left-brain is to my advantage after initial content seeding in certain instances or linear information is my seeding process depending on what I’m writing. It’s become common knowledge — in my wholistic integrative work and in academic education — that the more senses that we use (which moves us left and right as well), the more complete results we get on any one project (http://capone.mtsu.edu/studskl/hd/LRBrain.html ). Off the top of my NLP and Hypnosis trained head plus internet searches, for better balance in order to birth more possibilities:

–Have you ever found that you begin to lose concentration, become bored or even depressed if you spend too much time in the left or the right brain area? Consider shaking it up a bit: Balance your checkbook (linear left) then cook without measuring spoons, play an instrument or listen to uplifting music (creative right)

–Want to force yourself out of left or right dominance? If in right brain then answer your phone on your right ear for the day: this moves you to left-brain. Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/23/left-brain-right-brain-dominance_n_1297126.html#s226461&title=Charles_Limb_Your .

–If you want to hear a little more left-brain language on left and right brain function see http://www.yalescientific.org/2012/04/left-brain-right-brain-an-outdated-argument/

If you want to learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

Review the work of Dr. Ross:
“Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American” paper: http://jaie.asu.edu/sp/V21S3bra.htm
Dr. Ross YouTube Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jaefzlq-z-E
http://www.mysterious-america.net/dr.chuckross.html (transcribed interview)
http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A279 (referencing his books)
http://nativeauthors.com/index.php?ukey=product&productID=1145 (referencing his books)


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Detoxing: A Looooooonnnnnnngggggggg Strange Trip

My 21-year-old niece moved in with my family to get acclimated to Asheville and within one week decided she was going to do a detox; cut out caffeine; stop smoking and drinking alcohol (a trigger to her smoking).  And she started her moon cycle that same week.  What was my household in for?

After day one, she said, “Aunt Michelle, I was just going to have you hypnotize me into stop smoking, but wanted to try it on my own first.”  I replied, “Well, that’s not exactly my process: to force people stop things.  After all, who am I to make those types of demands?”

I understand this is a common fallacy about hypnosis and hypnotherapy; likely as a result of watching stage hypnotists making subjects quack like a duck in front of audiences.  But, from my perspective, smoking cessation is a way to become empowered forever, which requires willpower and unwavering commitment to doing the pre- and home-work: clients must fill out a pre-journal that targets habits (in this case it’s smoking) for an entire week; clients are made aware of their patterns out and in-sessions; they re-experience the most intense patterns in-session and are given tools to take cravings down to zero; then they have homework.  This is where some are disappointed: “Dr. Payton, I just want you to tell me what to do.” But, there’s so much more to this type of process; much, much more.

In addition to becoming aware of triggers, you must be getting enough sleep (six to eight hours); eating right; drinking enough water; exercising regularly (not necessarily intensely).  This increases willpower to get through the first three days of changing that habit (and many other addictive patterns) and stop smoking permanently.

For reinforcement, find a buddy to support you as you move through changing your habit.  Ask others to not smoke around you or leave the area where others are smoking; this is tough because many people bond through smoking.  For the first three days, if possible, take vacation days, lighten your commitment load but not to the point of boredom, consider lots of green (close-to-nature) foods to munch on, and exercise lightly (take a walk, stretch, bike).

I have been a reinforcement for my niece, of course; one of her buddies.  And when she decided to take on this challenge I suggested she put some of her cigarette ashes in a small flask, add water and sniff it every time she wanted a cigarette for the first week.  Then her supportive friends got her tea tree toothpicks (spearmint or peppermint are popular as well) to pop in her mouth each time she had a craving.

But you’re going to lose some sleep in the beginning of this process; maybe feel less than; even sick to your stomach and shaky.  You are, after all, retraining and detoxifying your body.  For my niece, this worked until day 2 at about 3:30am when she wanted a cigarette so bad that the nasty ashes began to smell sweet; she was almost in tears.  But then something occurred to her at that late (or early depending on your perspective) hour after she took a deep breath in and smelled her clean and fresh skin, breath and bedclothes, and loved how her food was beginning to taste even after only two days and thought, “If I smoke now I will have to take a shower and brush my teeth… I’m too exhausted.”  She muscled through.

It’s important to realize that smokers do something that we should all do: deep breathe.   A smokers “drag” is actually a great way to feed the body oxygen.  Recovered smokers, keep doing that.  My niece honored her breath during this process and retrained her body to do this minus the smoke.

So, at the moment of this post she’s celebrating day 4; sweating a lot; holding the vision for few more hours sleep; eating lots of greens and tasting them more intensely; deep breathing the sweet smell of success; even having more awareness in dream and awake state; truly cleansing.

I’ll ask her to post on this blog to let you know how she’s doing.  Cheer her on!

If you have any short or long trips (strange or not) to share, success tools or stories, it would be great to see your comments.

If you want to learn more about my mind over matter practice go to www.MichellePayton.com.  Speak to you soon.

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COMMENTS FROM OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS…

Enjoyed your post. I have experienced so many people wanting a quick and easy fix to addictions. We know it takes a commitment and some hard work. (North Carolina)

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