Category Archives: Health Savvy

The Power of Point of View

Let’s journey deeper into thought. Before we do, how did the journaling go from last week? What did you see? What opened up as a result of taking time to write? Often powerful healing can arise out of writing.

This week, let’s go deeper into thought–into the point-of-view-perspective of thought.

My definition for “point of view” is an opinion, an attitude, the ability to see something from a specific aspect.

What creates the point of view of your thought? Past experiences morphed with current situations. And time has a funny way of shifting what actually happened to fit your current mental state. It can even be said that often your current situation is a pretty close repeat of a past situation.

10 years ago, I was in a course where one of the homework assignments was to create an autobiography for each year of my life. It included photos, what happened, the friends I had, and a major life event in each year of my life. Upon completion, being the proud son, I showed it to my mom. As she reviewed each year, she looked up and began correcting what had happened. Events I swore had happened at specific ages, she was correcting with the age she remembered them to have happened from her point of view.

I have come to understand that much of our deep past has been modified by the mind to fit our current point of view. Yet in the work I do as a coach, many of my clients actually shift the story they have created (their point of view) about their past. As this happens and their experience of life shifts, they acquire a new point of view.

And this new point of view is actually lighter. They are not carrying heavy burdens of self-doubt and self-persecution. They begin to experience life in the present, aware of the potential for the mind to pull you back, yet through this awareness, a strength of presence develops. Through this strength, they see the world now, and are able to powerfully move forward.

This week, notice your point of view about the tough spaces in your thought. Begin to see them simply as a point of view. Here are a few questions to ask, even write about in your journal:
– What is your point of view?
– What are the past experiences in that point of view?
– Is it true? (from Byron Katie’s The Work)
– What is another way you can see this point of view?

We are dynamic beings. As we deepen our awareness, we shift. Delve deeper into thought – begin to understand your point of view. As you do, you will see that with a little awareness, you can create a new point of view!

I am here to answer any questions or comments you have. Create an AMAZING week!


Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.
–Jay Asher


Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

The Perfection in Your Imperfections

Another yoga class and the Sage spoke to the perfection and imperfection of life. What if we got how perfect our imperfection really is? I smile as the industries that live upon our doubts and fears around our imperfections would collapse if we accepted our imperfections as perfect.

When I say perfect, I mean really stepped into that we are so perfect, especially in our imperfections.

Do you accept the all of who you are? Including the imperfections? Including those places where we are human, making mistakes and errors? What if we don’t look as perfect as the Photoshopped models in the ads?

Two examples are listed at the bottom that show the Photoshopping process, with the before and after. These are typical examples of how the imperfections are removed and the result is the comparison against which most judge themselves.

I think of children here. They have no problem making mistakes and errors: falling down only to get up again. Then falling again and just looking to see what the big people think. If no one notices, they just get up and attempt again. They are completely OK with being exactly as they are, attempting and failing, crying until the pain is gone and then laughing, often with tears still on their faces and giggles on their lips.

Children at an early age are not judging themselves and others – they are just accepting of themselves and everyone, often asking the obvious questions when someone is different or not like they are.

We learn imperfection right around the time we learn to judge and assess, often of ourselves first and then of the world around us. The world becomes a colder place when we do this.

This week, what if you began to notice the places you judge yourself? Where are you hardest upon yourself? Can you take a few seconds to first see these places? And what if, just for this week, notice these places – not from a place of judgment, but from a place of awareness?

Awareness is key. When you can begin to see the impact on your point of view, you can see how deep judgment affects our experience of the world. And that is the key point: affecting your experience of the world. Awareness of judgment leads to the choice of judging the same, more, or less. When we judge less and accept more (a choice), we shift our experience of our world.

This week, see what arises. Whenever you have a positive impact, note your experience and keep those behaviors intact.  Have this be an experiment. Maintain where you see a positive impact. Create your own variation on this game. Write me and tell me what arises, I’d love to hear!

And, if you want to see examples of photo shopping, go here and here.

Create a perfect week … especially through the imperfections …


Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Stress Techniques and Coaching

So have you realized that you are buried under a pile of stress and need help digging out? There are a variety of stress management techniques available to help you.

Stress management and stress reduction techniques can include seeing different types of life coaches.

Fitness/Health Coaches:

Stress relief depends on mental health, but many people find that using exercise can be a great reliever of pent up anxiety and energy.

Career/ Business Coaches

If you have dreams of succeeding in business and in your personal life, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your mind clear and ready for action! Working with a coach focused on clearing your mind in order to succeed in your career can do wonders for your stress levels.

Spirituality Coach:

Some people suffering from stress and panic attacks turn to spirituality coaches for guidance with zen meditation, transcendental meditation, and other deep thinking or relaxation techniques.

A 5-year study is currently evaluating whether stress management can ease mental health distress and physical symptoms in breast cancer patients. Researchers are testing whether tai chi training and spiritual-growth groups reduce stress and enhance coping strategies.

Tai chi is described as meditation in motion that focuses on slow, graceful movements to increase strength and flexibility and to improve balance and circulation. Spiritual coaches allow people to express emotions and discuss pain and stress in a supportive environment. Both approaches should normalize levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol and endorphins by allowing expression of feeling and emotion and the focus and inner balance afforded by tai chi.

If you are in a stressful period of your life, try to keep yourself from turning inward. Find a coach that can listen and help you reconnect with your body.

Stress and Weight Management

Managing your weight can seem like an uphill battle, what with so much daily temptation from snacking at work to unhealthy meals on the run to the simple fact that you’re a person with a healthy appetite and those Lean Cuisines you’ve been eating seem to be portioned for children. (I’m sorry, Lean Cuisine, but it’s true. )

So the cards are already stacked against us. Throw in years of yo-yo dieting, daily stressors, and the hormonal and biochemical interactions that stress has on the body, and it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly fighting a losing battle.

But don’t give up!

While stress can’t be eliminated from a person’s life, stress relief can be found in a variety of “mind-body” interventions. Meditation, yoga or even a long walk can go a long way to improving your mind/body relations.

Effectively managing your stress is a key component to success in just about everything- from achieving your diet goals to career goals. Stress can overwhelm your mind, deplete your motivation and make you physically unhealthy.

Why do you get stressed? How can you relieve it? Here is the scientific skinny on stress and hormones!

  • Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase in response to any psychological or physical stress in the body, such as illness, trauma or temperature extremes.
  • Endorphins are brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
  • Stress and pain are among the most common stimulators of endorphin release. Endorphin secretion results in reduced pain perception, feelings of euphoria and increased immune response.

So basically, stress puts your body in gear, whether to deal with a trauma and illness or an intense physical activity.

Problems arise when you hold too much stress, too much of the time. Identify the basis of your anxiety. Set achievable goals and watch your stress level diminish.

Personal Growth and the ABCs (Attitude, Beliefs, Clear Goals)

Personal Growth and Attitude

When something happens in any kind of situation, the results can be interpreted negatively or positively. Defining something as a “good attitude” or a “bad attitude” doesn’t make it good or bad. It’s just an interpretation, and interpretation depends on beliefs and attitudes.

You can learn to use interpretations to empower you by getting accurate information and by thinking of outcomes in positive terms. If you believe there are opportunities in everything that happens, the possibilities will appear everywhere. If you take the attitude that you’ll “believe it when you see it,” chances are you’ll never will.

Personal Growth and Beliefs

Your beliefs can empower or impede you in moving toward your dream. If you see your beliefs as obstacles to personal growth, they will trip you up or keep you from stepping into your dream.

If you use your beliefs as tools to help you achieve your dreams, you transform them into stepping stones. Your beliefs have become the bridge that moves you easily from where you are to where you want to be. Will you use your beliefs as barriers or stepping stones?

Personal Growth and Clear Goals

Being vague about your goals and dreams will keep you confused. If you aren’t clear about your dream, it’s hard to know what to do about it or how to ask for help. The ability to articulate your dream clearly and with passion is essential for establishing credibility.

A powerful shortcut technique is also your ability to make specific requests, making it easy for people to help you.

And finally, if you set vague goals, then it’s also going to be unclear whether you reach them. There’s no better feeling than accomplishing what you’ve set out to do. Don’t deny yourself that rush.

“Anxiety is Love’s Greatest Killer”

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”
~ Anais Nin

Let’s look at an old friend – Anxiety.  Earl Nightingale once said that 92% of what you worry about will never occur. Many of us realize this, but we still worry- often to the point of anxiety.

Anxiety is composed of thoughts infused with emotions.  We keep thinking the thoughts which rile up our emotions, and suddenly this state of anxiety starts becoming automatic, and a terrible cycle develops. We hold ourselves back from opportunities and we sabotage our relationships, feeling helpless all the while.

But you’re not helpless.

Lets try something. Let’s put our mental gear into neutral for a minute and look at the nature of thought.

When you look at your thoughts for what they are, what do you see? Nothing. You realize that thoughts have no weight, no smell, no taste- they’re not even real.

Our mind is like a river, just flowing thoughts down stream.  When we get stuck in an eddy of uncomfortable thoughts, we just swirl and swirl and swirl.

Now let’s add emotion. Interestingly, where thoughts are not real, emotions are VERY real.

We feel emotions from our head to our toes. Whether or not the thought behind the emotion is real, panic can kick in and send the body into a primal state of fight or flight. Once you feel that signature shortness of breath, it only deepens the panic the mind feels.

Unless you take back control.

Stop thinking.  Take a deep breath.  Open your eyes.  Take another deep breath.

Did you know it’s not possible to breath deeply and have an anxiety attack?  Long slow breaths tell the body everything is okay, which in turn sends signals to the brain that there is no real threat.

Can you now ‘see’ your thoughts?  Can you separate your emotion from your thoughts?

Most clients return to a state of peace when they learn to vaporize the anxiety through realization it is merely a thought. This step, however, takes awareness and work.

Look at this way- babies do not experience anxiety – it has to be ‘taught’ to you.  And that which has been learned can be unlearned through awareness, perception, and realization.

Anxiety can be unlearned – I wish I could just list the 4 steps to living anxiety free,  or the 3 steps to living in peace, but it’s not quite that easy.  If you experience anxiety, it takes a bit of work to free yourself from your self-created bondage.

However, the people I have worked with have done it and so can you by choosing to understand the nature of your thought.

You have to choose to unlearn and step back into the space of a child-  back when the world was an adventurous place to be.  Back when life was simply wild.

So for now, begin to see your anxiety as thoughts (not real) which are combined with emotions (very real).  You are creating a mirage – it seems that you see it, yet the closer you get, it disappears.  Unlike a mirage in the desert though, anxiety feeds upon itself and literally clouds up your state of mind, until the only real thing is a cloud of anxiety.  But’s it’s not even real.

This week, become aware of the thoughts which create your anxiety. They are just thoughts. Without emotions, they are just thoughts.  With emotion, your reality is clouded in anxiety.  When you take the emotion away, you are empowered to choose a new thought.

Try choosing one which empowers you.

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Do not kill yourself over a deadline. Unlike actual death, it can be rescheduled.

Scheduling unrealistic deadlines leads to disappointment, and disappointment can cause you to give up or miss opportunities. When you’re overwhelmed, self doubt can undermine you.

Use your time wisely. Set up a system that works for you so that you don’t constantly feel bad that you didn’t accomplish your goal. Making progress will fuel your passion and turn you on to more opportunities.

Unrealistic deadlines do not allow you to build confidence. Setting attainable goals helps you to gain confidence each time you accomplish one of your goals. With your newfound confidence you can set and achieve more difficult goals. Conversely, if you repeatedly miss deadlines you will lose confidence and begin to doubt yourself.

If you’re beginning to have self doubt about your ability to get things done, maybe it’s because you think, “It’s easier to do it myself.” Only you have what it takes to get things done, but you don’t have the time, so nothing gets done.

That’s a poor strategy for success, so get help. Identify the resources and opportunities available and use them. The single most powerful thing you can do to make your dream come true is share your dream with someone who is on your side.

Hiring a life coach can also help you to achieve your goals. A life coach can work with you to assess your current lifestyle and make suggestions for changes that could help you achieve your goals. A life coach can work with you to formulate a strategy for achieving your goals.

Self help: helping yourself to success rather than helping yourself to seconds

If you believe it’s possible to make your dreams come true, but don’t act on it, there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be.

That gap is comprised of your attitudes and beliefs. The bigger the negative beliefs, the wider the gap. Perhaps the voice of your doubter has gotten louder than the voice of your dreamer.

Attitudes and beliefs are never neutral. They either move you forward or hold you back. If your dream is to lose weight but you believe it’s too hard of an undertaking and you’ll almost certainly fail, then you’ll probably never even attempt it.

But the same dream with a belief such as “I can do this” or “I believe in my dream,” will take you to thoughts and feelings of excitement and hope, and ultimately to the choice to go for it.

There’s a different kind of energy, and much more joy, when you are moving toward your dreams than when you are mired in reality or just trying to fix something. So rather than saying “I don’t want to be overweight” tell yourself “I want to be healthy.” That subtle shift can be the difference between success and failure.

Reality does have a place in self help though. Reality can keep you from setting unattainable goals.

When reality seeps into your thoughts and prevents you from setting lofty goals that aren’t possible at the moment, it keeps you from failing and becoming depressed by your failures. For example, saying you’re going to lose 75 pounds sounds impossible. But saying you’re going to lose 5 lbs this month? And 5 lbs next month? Totally doable.

So in this sense reality steers you to set short-term attainable goals, allowing you to enjoy the confidence that comes with reaching these realistic goals and encourage you to go for the bigger ones.

Your official motivation invitation: Dear you, your life is waiting! RSVP ASAP

How can you motivate yourself to achieve your dream? Well, you’re not going to live forever. That’s motivation!

If you had eternity to accomplish your goals, you wouldn’t feel the need to push yourself, to chase your dreams. So consider your impending doom a gift, and seize the day.

The majority of people with goals don’t apply the action needed to bring them to fruition. Their ambitions and hopes stay locked up in their minds, like Rapunzel in her tower, waiting for someone to let them out.

Be your own knight in shining armor. Let your ambitions out.

Setting goals can inspire motivation. Once you actually set a goal, you’ll feel an immediate obligation to achieve that goal. This motivation pushes you to succeed.

Still feel stuck?

Daily words of encouragement will help. Whether you’re reading motivational quotes, inspirational stories, or just getting motivational sayings from loved ones, a little encouragement can change the way you look at life.

Some people also benefit from mentors as a motivational resource. A mentor teaches you the ropes of a given career or even a way of life. Mentors provide advice, information, encouragement and above all accountability.

If you won’t be accountable to yourself, get a mentor.

Life is like a video game- you can’t reach the next level until you’re done with the one holding you back

If you really want to turn your life in a different direction, you need to assess what is really going on in your career, relationships and family.

The purpose driven life revolves around the powerful process of exploring what’s been left unsaid, undone or incomplete in your life. To be driven, you must remove the challenges that are encumbering your success.

This process is really one of the most awesome things you can do to free yourself and give yourself access to your dreams.

Completing what is undone–whether it concerns family, friends, work, your body, mind or soul–may be the most profound thing you have ever done.

Where do I begin?

Take these steps to begin living a purpose driven life.

1. Scrutinize your life and your life purpose.
2. Explore your body, mind, home, work, finance, and people (living and dead).
3. Write down what you feel incomplete about with anyone or anything and what you need to do to complete it.
4. Complete as many items as possible.
5. Write a letter or make a phone call.
6. Forgive someone or just declare “it’s over.”

You might need to create a project plan. Create measurable goals and try to stick to your plan. You will find yourself feeling better and lighter every day!