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Finding Comfort in Uncomfortable Times ©

Finding Comfort in Uncomfortable Times ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com,

Anybody who seems to have a stress-free life. . . . . .is someone you don¹t know quite as well as you thought you did.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" (Albert Camus)

I am convinced that congruence, the agreement between our beliefs about who we would like to be, and how we actually move through the world, is a common denominator among many who manage stress well.

My grandmother lived happily and healthily to 93, surviving breast cancer, all her siblings, and every friend. At 90, she broke a hip, yet walked again. She used charcoal or ginger for tummy aches, Epsom salts for other aches, did not smoke or drink, ate what she liked, and slept with the windows open, even in winter. In the 1890"s my grandmother rode a mule sidesaddle down the Grand Canyon. . .and in the 1960"s, flew to Boston. She graduated college--rare in her time, laughed easily, cried easily, gave joyfully, spoke to her three children daily, and adored talk-radio. She hemmed our dresses and washed our "little pawdies" in her soft, plump, warm hands each Sunday before dinner. As adults, every one of us went out of our way to visit her often, perhaps partly because she never insisted. We liked her. She quietly endured arthritic pain, and lost her sight‹but never her vision. Long-gone, in my mind"s eye she is laughing, blue eyes twinkling as her shoulders shook, and after all these years, we miss her every day. I would call that a life well-lived.

As you know from these newsletters, I¹m a fan of quotations that help us find meaning, comfort. Some are simply entertaining, others--literally words to live by. Much of what we embrace or reject, how we cope with adversity or let it consume us, comes from home. In my grandmother"s bedroom hung, in calligraphy, the first Life Lesson I recall: "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do, any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect. I shall not pass this way again." (Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855) These words hang in my home today.

So, where do we find such comfort when stress pushes the envelope. . . and our limits? Some wisdom is consciously sought. Some comes from friends or pop culture, when someone expresses a thought, feeling or experience in a way that makes us think, "I need to remember that." Some originate with us, when our inner wisdom synthesizes emotions into a phrase that just resonates.

What are some of the words you live by, and where did they come from? To get you started, here are a few of my own: 1. "The only way to have a friend is to be one. " -Emerson [c/o my mother] 2. With good fortune, comes responsibility to share it. [c/o my grandfather, unspoken but by lifelong example] 3. "It only takes one." [c/o my father, re: college acceptances, finding a house, etc.] 4. "When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme." [c/o Jiminy Cricket] 5. "Keep breathing, don¹t pull your skirt over your head, and you¹ll do fine! " [c/o my friend Mary, re: a job interview, etc.]

A great source of internal guidance is day-to-day synchronicities. e.g. You are at the mall. You have exactly 15 minutes and $150.00 to find a suit for a high-stakes presentation. Anxious, nervous, the future looks so uncertain you cannot focus, and park on the wrong level. Entering this "wrong" store, directly before you, bold red letters announce: " 1-Day Sale: Designer Business Attire 50% Off " Coincidence? You decide..

"Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." (ee cummings)

Try This: Stress-Reducing Life Lessons 1. List 3 positive Life Lessons you¹ve learned, and from whom. 2. This month, notice three unexpected, comforting events.

Did you happen to see Fantasia Barrino "s final performance of "I Believe" in last month"s American Idol competition? (Whether a fan or not, try to catch it on tape---she"s in a green dress with gospel choir.) That . . .is Congruence. Every syllable of that performance came from every cell of her being, we cried right with her for the Truth of it, as she soared beyond all limits. A stressful challenge to be sure. But there was no ceiling that night. Only wide open sky. . .and her joyful spirit pouring forth to fill it.

"The most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid." (J.D. Salinger)

What Have Your Friends Taught You About Coping with Stress? (responses to a survey in this newsletter)

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." (Marcel Proust)

- You can reinvent yourself whenever you want to. - Perspective is everything. - Success is getting up one more time. - Risk in order to fly, even if your wings wobble. - You don¹t need a paycheck to feel really good about who you are. - Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. - Fight only the battles worth fighting. - Remember who you are, and who you want to be. - Correct one fault at a time. - Listen, listen, listen.

It¹s Never Too Late I recently witnessed the truth of the Chinese proverb, "One joy scatters a hundred griefs" Two elderly, life-long friends became estranged after one harshly rejected the other without cause. After three sad years of distress wondering why, the injured party learned that her friend suffers from dementia---suddenly explaining the irrational behavior. Upon learning this, the friend said, " Pain can last for years, but it can vanish in an instant." The two women, ages 87 and 90, enjoyed a heart-warming reunion, ending with sweet, happy tears. #1"Shall I come again?" #2 "Oh,yes--and I hope soon!" True story.

Pop Quiz: Contact 3 people with whom you¹ve lost touch. Let them know you care.

Read More About Life Lessons: Book: The Five People You Meet in Heaven: A novel by Mitch Albom, (author of Tuesdays with Morrie,) explores unexpected connections in our lives. A life story--not theology.

Book: After he won the National Book Award for his exquisite, How We Die, Yale surgeon Sherwin Nuland"s sequel, How We Live, was released as The Wisdom of the Body. (The latter contains a few medical descriptions not for the faint of heart, but his work is scientifically fascinating, graceful, wise, and deeply touching.)

A Peek Around the Curve. . .

New! Stress-Relief Consultations with Susie Now Available via Telephone These are complex times. In response to reader requests, award-winning stress-relief facilitator/author Susie Mantell provides a limited number of individual 1 hr. telephone consultations each month for help with: - Day-to-Day Stress, Sleeplessness, Depression - Stress-Related Illness & Illness-Related Stress - Work-Related, Chronic & Traumatic Stress - Transition & Loss (Grief, Divorce, Relocation, New Baby, Retirement)
Learn more

PTSD: Erasing Trauma? When stress hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine are elevated, new memories consolidate more firmly. If traumatic, the result can be debilitating. Administering propranolol soon after trauma may keep memories from taking hold. Naturally, some have concerns. . .

Doctors at the Kennedy Krieger Institute are studying the
effects of energy healing on injured kids.

A medical device company
plans to implant a tiny chip in the brains of five paralyzed people in an effort to enable them to operate a computer and communicate by thought alone.

Healing Hands? A new, disposable glove emits chlorine dioxide, used in water purification, harmless to humans but deadly to bacteria and viruses.

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. " (Victor Borge)

You Gotta Laugh: Juvenile Job Application (anonymous)

To Whom It May Concern: Enclosed, please find my application for the position of, "8 Year-Old Child." Well-qualified, I find the prospect intriguing. I am willing to relocate to a time when life was simple. My career plans include catching fireflies, lemonade stands, digging to China and making a sidewalk with rocks. I believe M&Ms are better than gold coins because you can eat them, anything is possible, and life should be fair. I bring to the position extensive experience with computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, bills, office gossip, and back pain. I am prepared to embrace the power of hope, of kissing boo-boos, kind words, the truth, dreams, imagination, mankind, and Superman. In anticipation, I have placed my checkbook, car keys, both mortgages, and my 401K statements in the safety deposit box I hide in my backyard. [ Only my best friend knows where.] If you wish to discuss this further, enclosed is my direct line: a paper cup with waxed string running through my bedroom window to a cup just like it. Evenings, I can be reached by tossing pebbles at that window before 9 PM, my bedtime.

[ Psst..Pass it on! Forward this newsletter to 5 people you care about. ]

Until next time, I wish you comfort and wisdom whenever you need some, in wonderful, surprising places. . . . . .
and as always, above all, peace,
Susie



WHO IS SUSIE? 

National stress-relief expert Susie Mantell's soothing, award-winning relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" is physician-recommended to relieve Stress & Sleeplessness, Pain, Depression, Addiction rRecovery and PTSD. Featured in The Los Angeles Times, NBC,ABC -TV, Billboard, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and The American Pain Society, listeners include The Mayo Clinic, U.S. V.A. facilities, Canyon Ranch (BEST SPA,") F.F.S.C.'s and MWR's. Customizing programs for American Express, Remington, The Arthritis Foundation, The National Conference on Loss, and The Coca-Cola Company , her techniques are found in Cosmopolitan, McCalls, WebMD and syndicated press. Fine more Free Stress-Relief Tips or Order "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" at:
http://www.relaxintuit.com (SPECIAL: ORDER 5--GET 1 FREE!)
NOTE: Copyright © 2000, 2003 All rights reserved. For reprint email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Susie Mantell and Relax...Intuit(tm)LLC offer support as an adjunct to, but not a substitute for, professional health care.