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Revisited Edition: March 2011

AM Experience

Recreating to “Be” What’s Inside ... So how did January 2011 work for you? Fun Exercises to Describe Who You Are The Eight Steps of Fantasy Analysis Your Environment Is Determinable ...and more


AM Experience

AM Experience Reflect on your experience while you are recreating .Life is about living and loving. In order to do so, one must discover the benefits of such lifestyle in accordance to one’s own time. Printer MagCloud Contact info@amelioraranch.com Publisher AM Media

Copyright 2011 Š AM Experience | A Meliora, LLC


AM Experience In this Issue

Sooo… did it work?

Making a resolution marks that there is a committed thought to an action.

Three… no, no… Six! there are many activities out there that can help us discover who we are. Page 6

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Fantasy Analysis

If you feel guilty about daydreaming from time to time, you need to get over it. Daydreaming is an essential mental function for us humans. Page 8

About this issue... This first issue is all about letting go of expectations so that you can discover your true “Self” today...everyday! Self-discovery is a continual process.   As we interact with our environment, we are learning and growing; and while doing so, we not only discover how truly dynamic we are, but we are capable of doing great things for ourselves, our families and our communities. Consider asking yourself, “who do you think you are?”, and truly reflect AM Experience, March 2011

Success Environments

Surround yourself with people who can model “letting go” Page 11

No Expectations

Anxiety!!!

Expectations gives a false of reality that one can control others and events in order to create a “happy outcome”

Understanding the signs will help you find the ways to take action. Page 15

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on your answer. Embrace this reflective journey because there is no room for expectations… only boundless opportunities for growth: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  On the pages that follow, there are exercises to help you in your selfdiscovery process and even helpful tips for those who have trouble letting go and just “be” free to embrace the unexpected. Consider each of these posts as tools for reflection with each successive post guiding you further along your journey to self-discovery.  May you find the opportunities for reflection during your recreation time. May your journey be proactive.~Ajen 

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REVOLVING RESOLUTIONS January 1 was the go date for the all the personal resolutions, written declarations, and ideological manifestos conceived out of all of 10 minutes of the deep reflection that occurs after that 3rd chocolate bar, 4th glass of wine, 2nd 3-hour long obscure holiday movie. Somewhere between the 2nd of January and ooh you  pick a date, those carefully scribed words, written or spoken, have been forgotten, (by most).…and some of us wonder why this is so, even though without fail many of us consistently attempt this ritual year after year.  It happens that fast. A quick vicious cycle that we never take so seriously.


(con’t from page 4)

the other and be something other than

salad made up of iceberg lettuce. It

our true selves.  There is nothing wrong

means that you do the activities that you

The idea of a 10 minutes of self-

about the idea of the model student,

know will make you a better “You” (i.e.

reflection and personal resolution is a

worker, parent, citizen; these ideological

will have to go to bed early so that you

great exercise; however, there are some

figures hold great importance defining

can get up early for yoga and a jog).  In

who attempt to create experiences and

structure within in an established

essence, you have to be mindful.

histories from observing the perceived

environment. It is just unfortunate,

success of others. The weight watchers

however, when people attempt to model

out there have goals to look like the

the “self” after these fictional figures.

models Cyndi Crawford or Tyson; the

“Why?”, you ask. Well, it is because we

prosperity prognosticators are

do not live within one kind of

formulating their financial plan just like

environment, we live within many

Suze Orman or Ali Velchi; and the

environments. For the most part, we

spiritual seekers are channeling the likes

exist in two or more of the following

of Deepak Chopra.  Why do many of us

environments almost everyday: the

try our hardest to model the “self” after

home environment, the school

other people?   What is wrong with our

environment, the work environment, the

personal “self”?  What is wrong with

social environment, the club

you? … or better yet, the question

environment, the political environment,

should be, “Who do you think you are?” etc… An Exercise Arvind Devalia’s post from his Make it

Cutting right to the chase, I’ll ask this

Ask your “self”, “Who are you and

Happen website

question: can you see why it is hard for

what are your goals for the New Year?” 

(www.arvinddevalia.com), “Why You

many to commit to their New Year’s

Avoid the quick answers like, “I am a

Are So Insignificant You Might As Well

Resolution?

mother of three, a Baptist and

be Dead!” suggests that many people

unemployed and I plan to start my own

are missing the point about their self-

WHAT’S THE RESOLVE?

MLM business like my sister.”,  “I am a

existence.   Is it really one’s purpose in

Making a resolution marks that there is

Native American and a retired

life to make a name for one’s self? To

a committed thought to an action. A

contractor and plan to travel with my

exist in the self has nothing to do with

resolve of action in your life does not

college mates this year.”, I am a 6ʹ′ Heinz

mimicking another’s self, nor does it

mean that there is a life change, it means 57 southerner who now lives in

mean to compete with them either. We

that there is a progression in how your

California who attends Chico State and

all have known a few people who stated

are living your life.  Therefore, stating

plan to find my soul mate. Instead, take

that for the new year, they will try to get

that you are going to lose weight and

at least 15 minutes and think about what

the body of a famous model, or have the

eating healthy foods is not enough.  It

you are doing in your many

best looking house on the block, or be

means that you eat healthy foods, in the

environments. Think about your past

known as the happiest one in the circle

correct proportions that you need and at

actions and be mindful that it is these

of friends. Have you ever noticed that

the right time.  It means that you

actions that made you YOU. Now think

these people are completely overlooking

surround yourself with a network of

about who you are in 2011 and what

the self? For the most part, you cannot

individuals that you trust who will help

kind of thoughts will foster your

blame them. Heck we cannot blame

you reach your goals and not take you

progressive transformation throughout

ourselves. We all have been conditioned

to the those restaurants that have

the year.  Think about your plans of

to think that way. As early as

nothing but some variation of steak,

action.  Think about how this will be

kindergarden we are trained to look to

potatoes and starchy pie and one odd

affected in your environments.

AM Experience, March 2011: So how did January 2011 work for you?

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ur true o e n i f e d r us to o f y s led into a e o h t n o o n e g s i i p s, it we are , n e t f Sometime o ; t ur faul o s (i.e. t o m n e t s s i y t s I r   . self easy fo s i define t i o t s a ) … s c c i t t e is edical, m , l character a i c o the “C” s , e l r a a c i e t i w l o , al, p ystems s e s e h Education , the t c i o n t a g h n c i e d r m re. Acco se, the a r u e n w e o h t h , w n, the student u d n e t c i f i t g e b e th , the dia e l a student, m e f n sia owardly A c e e h h t t , , e t l a ous pilo e g African m a ems r t u s y o s c e w h o t l really al ed teen, z e i t w a m o u D a   . r t accept he point e t w t e d g l u u o o y e do. Sh w t nerd, etc… e b u are? Yo e w o h w not! e s define r u o c ns? Of o i t i n i f e d these Get out of that pigeonhole and find yourself!


Finding the “Self”

Our true “self” is more than physical characteristics, it is more than political and social constructs, and it defies any person’s perception of our “self”.  In all actuality, only we are able to define our true “self” and it is quite apparent that this is no easy task in this society. Nevertheless, there are many activities out there that can help us discover who we are. Below are three (six) activities in which you can employ to define your “self”:

Finding the common denominator Think about who you were at age 5, 9, 13, 18, 21, 35, etc… and note any common denominators. Use the following example to get your thought process going: Did you like mixing random ingredients found in the refrigerator together when you were 9?  Did you like baking cakes for the school bake sale when you were 13? Did you like cooking for your friends in college when you were 18? Are you the designated cake maker for special family occasions? Pick a Color… any color What color best describes who you are? Are you blue? Are you blue because you are free like the sky, pretentious like royal blue, fluid like aquamarine, etc…? Are you yellow like the sunny disposition you have, sad like the yellow irises of a dog in pain? What color are you? 10 , 15 or 20 things that you really like to do (actually) and briefly explain why? Do you like to read and prefer reading to talking? Do you like to cook meals on special occasions because you like to keep busy?  Do you like to drive because you like

AM Experience, March 2011: Three (Technically Six) Fun Exercises to Describe Who You Are

the sense of freedom? Do you like to go hunting? Do you like to be charitable? What do you like to do? Why do you like doing it? Repeat! Ok… now that you have completed the activities above, repeat these exercises by asking a close friend and/or a family member to answer these questions on behalf of you. See if there are any commonalities between their answers and yours. This modified set of activities serves as a tool for you to confirm what you have already acknowledge about your “self”.   I hope that you will find these activities empowering as you are actively, accepting and rejecting characteristics that can be applied to your “self”.

Side note! Please encourage your family and friends to answer these questions freely. Do not jump in and try to change their response by questioning them.  Remember, their perception of you does not define your true “self”.  Listen to what they have to say, and thank them for their time and perceptions. 7


Although fantasy analysis was very popular in the 80s, it still has its place today. Developed by Barbera Sher, this activity in which a person discovers one's true self and what is a priority in one's life. A fantasy is a kind of daydreaming that allows the person to explore their wishes and desires without compromising their ideals and preferences. It is a mental and emotional activity that is done in the safe recesses of one's mind without fear of judgement or conflict. This particular activity of fantasy analysis begins with individual envisioning their ideal day and writing what they see on paper or speaking aloud so that a recorder can tape their narration. After the documenting the ideal day, the individual reads or listens to the narrative with the purpose of identifying the who, whats and wheres that are essential and actual in the person's life as well as the who, what and where that is essential and not currently in the person's life. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to appreciate the persons, places and things in your life and to ask your self the question of "what is preventing you from getting the rest of it?” As a side note, this activity is not based on the perspective that if one thinks positive, what every one wishes and desires, it will surely come to pass. To the contrary, this activity is the foundation for the setting the sights on the destination. Once, this is done, it is only a matter of finding the right proverbial vehicle to get you there. Following are eight steps in which you can conduct your own fantasy analysis. It is recommended that you devote a few quiet hours for this exercise. You will need a writing tablet and three different color pens (preferably red, black and blue) to do this activity:

Fantasy Analys! 1) Daydream: If you feel guilty

you occupied at 10am? … at

about daydreaming from time to

6:30pm? …etc. The sky is the limit

time, you need to get over it.

for this part of the exercise; let you

Daydreaming is an essential mental

mind be free of any constraints or

function for us humans. It helps us

judgments. While you are

to conceptualize ideals, understand

daydreaming your day record it on

complex processes and even

paper or the recorder.

formulate future actions. For this exercise, you will be fantasizing about your ideal day-- from morning to night. To help you focus, think about the persons (who), places (where) and things or actions (what), the time of day (when) and the reasons (why) why you are living your ideal day. … what time will you wake up? … with whom? … where? …why do you exercise or not exercise after lunch? … what keeps

2) Sort Ideal Elements: When you are ready to do so, playback your recording or read what you have written and note the who, the whats and the wheres mentioned in your ideal day fantasy. It helps to create three columns on a sheet of paper and mark each column, who, what and where respectively. So if you said that after breakfast, you take a leisurely walk to the library to


Eight Steps to Conducting a Fantasy Analysis write a few pages for your memoir,

your list and make the necessary

between your present reality and

you would write, "leisurely walk"

adjustments.

the dreams of your future. What is

and "write a few pages of memoir" under the column marked "what" and "library" under the column "where". If you said, "… at 8:30pm you read a bedtime story to my youngest daughter", you would write, "read a bedtime story" under

stopping you from attaining your 4) Daydream (Again): Ask you self imagine what the ideal day looks like if you had the elements that you considered to be absolutely important. Be sure to record this fantasy as well.

dreams? Is money? A person? Education? Physical disability? Identifying the issues that lie in the path between your present and your future provides a foundation on which you can visualize actions that

the column "what" and "my

will assist in accomplishing your

daughter" under the column "who".

goal to living your ideal days for the rest of you life. Sybil’s

3) Categorize Ideal Elements:

Alternaview.com post, ‘How to

Looking at your sorted ideal

Grow Into The Person You Really

elements list, circle in blue ink the

Want to Be’ mentions this process

elements that you find to be

5) And a bit of gratitude: Go over

absolutely important. It does not

your fantasy and note the elements

matter if you have these elements in

in that day do you already have and

8) Bonus Step | Reflection: Try

your actual waking days. All that

smile. Be happy! Your ideal day is

the above steps one more time over

matters is that you are recognizing

almost coming to pass! ...and a

the course a month later and reflect

that there are certain elements in

positive attitude goes a long way;

on this concept of being in the

your ideal life that you find to be of

visit Dia’s post, “How negative

present. Ask yourself, 1) "how does

great value and would feel

thinking affects us” on his

being mindful of the present allow

dissatisfied with ideal life if they

2achieveyourgoals.com site for an

me to shape my future?", and 2)

were not there. Next, in red ink,

example that indirectly supports the

"What does the phrase, 'expect

circle the elements that are

potential benefits of having a

nothing from no one or no thing

considered to be optional even

positive attitude.

and yet be pleasantly surprised in

though you rather that they exist in your ideal life .Lastly, look over the

everyone and everything' mean to 6) What's Missing: Go over this

remaining elements and ask

fantasy one more time and note

yourself, if these elements can be

the elements that are missing

considered to be what Barbara Sher

from your actual waking life.

calls frills. If the answer is "yes", good, you completed this task, if your answer is "no", go back over

as the “internal gap analysis”

you?" Remember, "The path is the goal."

7) Fill in the gaps: The metaphorical distance between steps 5 and 6 represents the gap

AM Experience, March 2011: The Eight Steps of Fantasy Analysis

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YOUR ENVIRONMENT IS DETERMINABLE… AND SO IS YOUR “SUCCESS” Being successful in this life has nothing to do with the sole accumulation of monetary wealth and materials items. Being successful is demonstrated by your relationships with others. It is defined by how you value, tangibly and intangibly, who others are and what it is that they do as well as vice versa.


A successful person, like all people have visions to succeed in one’s own life’s quest by being the best person that only he or she can be.  What makes a person successful is their ability to adapt his or her goals to the exigencies of the moment.  This means that they let go of expectations and “flow” with life while holding onto their culminate goals fashioned out of their mission to see their vision come to fruition. To be able to let go does not come easily.  We are not born with this talent.  It is a learned skill. Do you know of any person in your life who is on the progressive path of mastering this kind of success attributes?  If yes, what kind of relationship do you have with this person; if no, think of those who you have heard of or have met in passing and think of ways in which you can have a true and unconditional relationship with that person. Consider the following as your first step in finding success in your life: Surrounding yourself with people who can model “letting go” in your life will encourage you to live your life freely without fear and with the intent to embrace the uncertainties of this life and all of its potentialities. Having such people in your life offers the opportunity for you to have a cheerleader supporting you as you advance to your goals, to a have an advisor of whom you can ask for help when needed, to have a counselor with whom you can talk freely about your problems and to have a friend who can wait patiently with you or perhaps persevere with you during times of uncertainty.  …and as you acknowledge that you too are on that progressive path of mastering this kind of success attribute, you will then see that above applies vice versa.


Living Your Dreams without Expectations


Question So what does it mean to "expect nothing from no one or no thing and yet be pleasantly surprised in all things?"

Answer There is no true answer to this question.  However, having expectations is a means (be it conscious or subconscious) effort to control the future. Likewise, holding expectations disregards the dynamic environment in which we live.  Expectations gives a false of reality that one can control others and events in order to create a “happy outcome”.  Is it no reason why one becomes upset when someone or things do not go one’s way. What is the resolve? The resolve is this,”Be open.”  Be open to the possibilities in all things and in all people.  So when you are overlooked for that job offer or when your carefully crafted formula, or design does not provide the intended results, use situations of perceived failure as opportunities to learn, grow, and persevere.

Letting go of expectations suggests letting go of trying to control the future.  Letting go of expectations means being open to subjective experiences.  It allows one to understand that just

we all operate freely in this life.  It allows us to have unconditional relationships that are filled with blessings and challenges instead of of conditional relationships that are filled with a false sense of security. Practice letting go of expectations and you will find that you will be more present oriented and you will exist independently of life’s circumstances. Your mastery will be made manifest when you are able to get the “you” out of the way and acknowledging the happiness that is before you. In other words, you will be able to see that happiness, sadness and all other mental and emotional constructs are perceived.  We do not create it.  Mastery of this means that you will understand that the persons, places, things and events of this exists independently in this interdependent life and that actions that they provide can be interpreted as positive or negative, waxing or waning, giving or taking, ebbing or flowing, etc… With that said, letting go of expectations allows us to let go of interpretations and just Be.  It means letting go of reactive relationships that are marked with conditional happiness or disappointments.  It means to live unconditionally and freely, so that we can see that happiness exists always. Let us be free to see this in all people, places, things, and events.

ays I w ,000 work. 0 1 nd won’t i f not ry I f m g I “ hin led. I a se eve t e som n’t fai cau rded is e b , e hav uraged pt disca o disc g attem ard.” n wro tep forw s on s i one d as E m o -Th


anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety 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anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety

Anxiety


Psychoeducation: Anxiety Reflection: How do you move forward by letting go when you are suffering from anxiety? Ok… Before you begin your reflection, please consider that people who suffer with anxiety tend to worry about events happening in the future and hold an expectation that something negative (to whatever degree) will occur. The reasons why a person may feel anxious, at times, can be identifiable and other times not; however, the undercurrent of most anxiety is the perceived lack of control. Below is a general description of anxiety.  Please use this information for educational purposes and not for diagnosis. Understanding the signs will help you find the ways to take action. As we are able to be aware of what is making us anxious, and understand that anxiety is a physiological response to perceived stimuli, we then can begin a process that will assist us in moving forward with relative ease into peace within our body, mind and soul. Common Signs of Anxiety

Common Signs of GAD

• •

Dry mouth Rapid heart beat

• •

Restlessness Tiredness

Trembling legs

Difficulties concentration

Shaking hands

Irritableness

A need to evacuate the bladder or

Muscle tension

the bowels

Insomnia or trouble staying asleep

If a person is anxious and worries too much over 6 months or more, there is a

It is important to note that there are

concern that person may be presenting

medical conditions that can cause

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Persons suffering from GAD may be

anxiety. Some common conditions are heart problems, breathing problems,

worrying about many things and find it

thyroid problems and blood sugar

difficult to stop worrying without the

problems. Therefore it is important to

assistance of psychotherapy and in some

discuss long-term anxiety with your

cases, natural or allopathic medication.

healthcare professional.

anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety anxiety

Anxiety

AM Experience, March 2011: What is Anxiety?

Other Forms of Anxiety •

Panic attacks

Panic disorder

• •

Post-traumatic stress disorders Obsessive-compulsive disorders

Agoraphobia

Phobias

Interesting Research Here is an interesting article about a studying that reports “high levels of brain activity in an emotional center called the amygdala reflect patients’ hypersensitivity to anticipation of adverse events”: Expectant Brains Help Predict Anxiety Treatment Success. Science Daily Jan 4, 2009

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When Given to Worry… Make Worry-ade! A PROCESS OF RECREATION

When given worry... make worry-ade … through the process of recreation OK. the title stinks, but perhaps the content will make up for that.  We have all heard that when given lemons, we should make lemonade by finding those teachable moments and making the best of the worst situations. The title of this post offers a similar analogy when it comes to worrying. The psychoeducation information article, “Anxiety” offered the reflective question: “How do

you move forward by letting go when you are suffering from anxiety?” as well as some general information about anxiety. The intent of this information article was to encourage you to understand that anxiety is a physiological affect of worrisome expectations that something is going happen; therefore anxiety serves as a warning system to the individual that some sort of action needs to occur (i.e. flight or fight response). With that said, it is important to know that the behavior is not

necessarily a bad thing as long as it does not occur excessively. Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist and author of Worry, suggests that worry can serve a “productive function” and can also be “toxic” to the point that it negatively affects the person.  In our society, there are some of us who have experienced or who have seen these negative affects of excessive worrying (i.e. rapid heart rate, tension, irritability, chest pain, etc...); however, there are many of us who have not

...moving forward by letting go.

AM Experience, March 2011: When Given to Worry… Make Worry-ade- Through the Process of Recreation

Go ahead, find your true north!

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seen the “productive function” of worry.

“Good worry leads to construcive action.” ~ Dr. Edward Hallowell We human beings are so dynamic; we have a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (or soulful) aspect to our nature which collectively makes us so much more complex than any other animal on this planet.   However, when we look at the physical aspect of our nature in the context of a worrisome situation, we see that much of our physiological systems function not too differently from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Whereas, a mouse sees a cat, the mouse perceives the danger and this perception causes a series of chemical and electrical reactions that leads to either a fight or flight response; so to, looking through the physiological lens, a very thin boy sees a very muscular boy with a perceived level of threat and is affected by chemical and reactions.   The only difference between the mouse and the thin boy is the level of consciousness, emotionality and the spiritual nature. Understanding that we have a great capacity to rationalize and to be seemingly connected to other human beings in the social and spiritual sense, we are able to use this worry constructively. So in the case of the very thin boy, this individual has the potential to mindfully access the true nature of the situation by establishing communications leading to true

understanding rather than giving into the impulses generated by the flight or fight response. In short, the thin boy is able to make a thoughtful decision to act regardless of what the outcome might be. The benefit (or aid) of worry can be self-preserving and it can also be self-learning.  So for instance, if a person is in the worrisome situation of not finding a job, then, that person has an opportunity of employing “constructive actions” like starting a business using their time, talents and skills as opposed to paralyzing these assets in worry.  This kind of constructive action contributes to the person’s preservation of self because that person is finding means to not only support his personal physical accounts (i.e. finances, food, shelter, etc...), but this kind of constructive action contributes to his mental, emotional and spiritual accounts as well.  This occurs because he engages in developing his talents, acquiring new skills and fostering relationships as he is discovers his niche in the industry of his choice.

Recreation! The process to make worry into worryade So what are the steps of ensuring that our worries are constructive and not toxic to the point that we are anxious and paralyzed?   Recreation is one possible way.   Being personally, academically, and professionally familiar with

the therapeutic benefits of recreation, I have created a personal definition of recreation. I define it as, “... a stimulating activity with which one occupies oneself for amusement, for learning, and for the benefit of refreshing or expanding one’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties. It is a process in which we are engaging in an activity that allows us to progressively develop as a human being as we are actively learning from the results of our actions. With that said, recreation can come in many forms; it can be knitting, writing, cooking, hiking, biking, computer programming, experimenting, delivering speeches or sermons, etc... hmm and as I think of my cousin- even doing complex calculations. Recreation, in  its truest form, is something that we love to do, and if given the resources, we would rather do it as a profession.  ...and many of us do! Moreover, the process of recreation is completely different from the process of leisure in the sense that a recreation activity can occupy our time, while a leisure activity can divert our attention away from something that occupies our time.   In other words, recreation can be done for leisure and it can be done to occupy us; however, leisure cannot be done as an occupation as it would defy its very purpose of being an activity of diversion from what occupies us.  So what does this have to do with “worry” and “constructive action”?   Consider the following for reflection quote before you review the 5-steps for making worry-ade:  Robert Frost once said, “the reason why worry kills more people than work is because


people tend to worry than work”; therefore, what kind of possibilities abound if you engage in the type of work that offers unlimited opportunities to refresh or expand your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties. 1. Never worry alone It is OK to worry; however, our worry should be proactive in the sense that we seek support of of friends, family, associates, or even a professional coach who can assist you in facilitating the process of brainstorming for solutions. 2. Get the facts Part of brainstorming for solutions, is getting the facts, The more facts that you have about the situation at hand, the more likely you can prevent excessive worrying (toxic worry, or anxiety).  The simple act of being mindful enough to make that conscious effort to consider the facts and address the known issues at hand today can reduce the thoughts of trying control the “what ifs” of tomorrow. 3. Make a plan Once you have the facts, make a plan and take action. Don't worry about whether the plan works or not because you really do not have control over the outcome (remember this when you get to #5). Your mission, in this case, is to be constructively active. As the adage goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try... and then try again...”.   Be confident in your actions and be proud that you are active.  No one can fault you for this.  They can only fault you for not doing anything at all.  Just think of the goddess, Nike and think of victory … and then think of the sneaker, Nike... and JUST DO IT!

4. Take care of your brain Take care of your brain.  Take care of your brain. Take care of your brain.  In order for your brain, the controller of the neurochemical response systems (ex. the flight or fight responses), to function properly, you must treat it properly. Proper sleep hygiene, exercise (mental and physical), diet, and even meditation or prayer are all important in strengthening and maintaining the brain.  A strong healthy brain will not only help you create your plan of action, but to execute it and then evaluate the results. 5. Let it go As stated before in the article, “Living your dreams without expectations”, consider the practice of letting go. You are not in control of the outcomes, but you are in control of the process and how you respond to them.  Remember, that although worry stems from the perceived lack of control over the future, you can take control of today by acquiring the facts and putting together a plan of action that only you can execute. That’s it. Just do it  and keep moving one step at a time (even if you occasionally take two steps back).   Hopefully, thorough a course of time, you will be able look back and see how far you have come along the way.

5-Steps orry • Never w alone facts e h t t e •G plan • Make a are of c e k a T • in your bra go • Let it

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AM Experience, March 2011: When Given to Worry… Make Worry-ade- Through the Process of Recreation

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Bring this page in and receive a 15% discount on your next individual or group Equine Assisted Self-Learning Process Program session. Visit: http://amelioraranch.com for more info.

Expiration Date: March 31, 2011

15% Discount on Services @ A. Meliora On all Equine Assisted Self-Learning Process Programs Sessions


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What’s Happening at A. Meliora

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Experiential Workshops

Equine Assisted Self-learning Process Program (EASLP) is an experiential program that encourages the individual to engage in a self-reflective process during and after participating in exercises with the horse.  Although the program session is not “therapy” in the clinical sense, it does offer therapeutic benefits as its process encourages the participant to think through the emotions felt and behaviors expressed during the sessions. The program’s exercises tend to employ primarily body language and other nonverbal communication; and, additionally, the sessions provide a nurturing environment which allows the participant to just “be” present with the horse.  What makes this program holistic is the verbal reflection period which allows the client a chance to connect the arena experiences with everyday life experiences or a specific life event.

HASLP is an experiential program that encourages the individual to engage in self-reflective process during and after participating in exercises in a greenhouse, outdoor gardens or indoor garden spaces.   HASLP can be easily integrated in to the recreational activities of rehab centers, adult day care, and residential facilities.  Programs can be in the form of 1- to 2- hour indoor sessions and the exercises of this program tends to encourage a nonverbal process which offers connections to the natural world, the processes of renewal, and the creation of aesthetic beauty.

Experiential workshops engages individuals to create community service projects as a demonstration of their discovered talents and skills.   These individuals  form groups  who elect to take on various tasks of a project while learning not only about the elemental functions of team work (i.e. assessing the need, consultation, collaboration, execution, and evaluation), but also to discover as individuals, practical ways to apply their knowledge, skills, and adaptations in daily life.

AM Experience, March 2011

tic erapeu h t e v i eir nct and th rs adju s l e a f f u d o vi iora al, to indi s e A. Mel c ologic i v h r c e y s s l p d ly tiona urrent uffere c s recrea t e v a a h h a t s who l traum a c anner. i m s familie y c h i p t a d m nal, an proble a n i emotio s ive their l s t c e eff 21


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Gratitude “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Manzanita found along the A. Meliora walking trail...

About AM Experience AM Experience is a multimedia publication that offers questions, comments, and exercises for personal reflection.  It is a publication that encourages the exploration of one’s self without judgement and without any expectations. It exists to encourage you to live and love the best way that you can everyday, to learn from these experiences, and to share your wisdom with others.

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Contact Us Ajen Busher, MBA-HCA — Therapeutic Recreation Administrator Jim Busher, CES — Certified Equine Specialist Website: http://amelioraranch.com Blog: http://experience.amelioraranch.com Email: info@amelioraranch.com

A. Meliora Ranch 16170 Renee Court Happy Valley Anderson, CA 96007

AM Experience, March 2011


AM Experience Issue 1  

This first issue is all about letting go of expectations so that you can discover your true “Self” today...everyday! Self-discovery is a co...

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