Intermittent Fasting and the Pandemic?

Intermittent Fasting and the Pandemic?

Hey, I’m no good at diets.

My only successful attempt was back in the 90s with the Atkins diet. Remember those days? We all lost weight and then gained back twice as much.

Fasting? Even worse. My one experience sent me into semi-coma.

Nevertheless, for the past five months I’ve been following the Intermittent Fasting thing. You may have heard of it. It’s not a diet as such, but rather an eating program based on when you eat and not what you eat.

Typically it involves eating inside an 8-hour window and not eating during a 16-hour window. What you eat and when you impose those windows is your choice.

It’s surprisingly easy to follow, even for this rabid anti-dieter, and the results are interesting. Weight loss, lower blood insulin and sugar levels, improvements in chronic fatigue and type 2 diabetes, and better mental clarity are among many benefits touted.

I highly recommend it.

The Knock-on Effect of Intermittent Fasting

But the most interesting aspect to me is the one discovered by Nobel Prize winner Yoshinori Ohsumi in 2016. His research found that fasting triggers a healing process called autophagy, which means self-eating. (Charming, I know, but wait). It results in cleaning out any dysfunctional or damaged cells, renewing them and helps slow down aging. (Better?)

So, given a chance to rest from continuous face stuffing, our bodies quickly start to heal and correct imbalances in the system.

I find this astonishing.

A Fast for Mother Earth

I couldn’t help noticing the similarity of Intermittent Fasting and how it relates to the pandemic.

Mother Earth has been given a break in digesting pollution. An imposed but welcomed fast.

I’m sure you’ve read about dolphins and fish appearing in the canals of Venice only weeks after the Coronavirus lockdown.

Or about the air pollution clearing up dramatically over China. Birds singing in Chinese cities for the first time in years.

It’s as if Mother Nature is saying, just leave the rivers and air alone and watch what happens.

Leave it to me. I got this.

It’s not Pollyanna-ish to recognize that there are bound to be some good things coming out of the global shutdown. If nothing else, that perhaps we don’t need to do a lot to help the earth heal. Just like our bodies and fasting, we just need to leave it alone.

What About Psychical and Social Healing?

If our bodies heal when we give them a short break from eating, and if Mother Earth heals when left alone, can we also heal our minds in a similar way?

Every ancient religion recommends observing one day of rest a week—the Sabbath. It’s the 4th commandment in the Ten Commandments. I used to wonder how that one got ranked in there amongst killing and adultery.

We don’t observe it much anymore but it was considered crucially important for mental, spiritual, and emotional health. A one-day activity fast each week.

We used to have Sabbaticals where people would take a year off work to travel, study, think and relax, and focus on personal enrichment and development. Is that still a thing?

What about weekends? With shops and restaurants open all week and many people working from home, weekends no longer seem to be obligatory times of rest and relaxation.

My Point About the Pandemic

Here’s what I’m getting at. Of course for many the pandemic has dire consequences and I’m not making light of it. But for all of us it can be a unique opportunity to take a much-needed break from work, socializing, shopping, and a plethora of other frantic activities.

Do you miss them?

Many are reporting that once they get over the initial shock, they are learning to relax into it and do some things they haven’t done before.

Like sitting in nature and doing nothing. Or reading some good books that have been catching dust on your shelves or lurking in your Kindle.

Taking slow walks.

Or what about those online courses you’ve paid for and watched maybe one video before either giving up or forgetting all about it? I found one on my computer I had bought five years ago and never opened. It’s pretty good.

Have You Ever Wondered….

…what it would be like to take vows and join a monastery? Now you can sort of get an idea. Or what about a stint in prison? Would you survive emotionally? This isn’t that bad. We’re also not at war.

It could be worse.

I’ve often toyed with the idea of going on a longish meditation retreat with no internet, phone, TV, or conversation for a set period. (I toy for a moment or two, then think better of it and turn on Netflix.)

Retreaters report that the first few days are relaxing and peaceful—then the withdrawal sets in and many experience depression, irritability, and wanting to kill someone. If they push on through they come out the other side feeling imperturbable and blissful.

Can you make this pandemic your Sabbatical? Pretend you’re on a retreat? You may never get another chance to slow down and do nothing for long periods.

Think of it as Intermittent Fasting for your mind and spirit. Who knows what will heal?

Carpe diem!

Now, here’s the offer.

Starting April until the end of May 2020 I’m offering life-coaching sessions online for donation only.
Give what you can—it’s important that it’s a transaction. The amount doesn’t matter.

We can discuss how you can seize the day and make the most of the enforced seclusion, set some soft goals, and develop a positive view about what is happening. It IS a once in a lifetime opportunity and talking things over can help you get your head clear.

Sessions are 40 minutes long, via Facebook Messenger, or Zoom if you’re not on FB.

No video, so if you haven’t put on makeup or washed your hair for a week, we’re cool.

Current clients included of course!

Donation by PayPal.

Just send me an email here to book a session. I’d love to connect with you!

If you want to know more about Intermittent Fasting, drop me a line.

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Your Moods Dictate Your Quality of Life. Here’s how to take control.

Your Moods Dictate Your Quality of Life. Here’s how to take control.

See if you relate to this.

The other day I woke up in a melancholy mood. “The bittersweet melancholy of another new dawn”, as my poet friend Scott Hastie expresses it so nicely.

I rarely get depressed, and then not for long, and I’m usually an upbeat, positive sort, so a melancholy mood felt strange. I didn’t know what to do with it, quite literally. I felt out of sorts, kind of off balance. Why, I wondered? Nothing bad was going on in my life, and all was well.

Have you had this happen?

As I examined it more closely I realized it was due to several things, all unrelated. I had watched a disturbing film the night before, several people had unsubscribed to my list (turns out they were on the wrong list), the sales on one of my books was down, and a client had cancelled her appointment due to illness.

Big deal! None of it important or earth shattering. Each on its own something I wouldn’t even blink at. Yet I had managed to pull them all together into a rather unpleasant tale and was unconsciously sending this charming message to myself—Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me, I think I’ll go and eat worms!

As soon as I woke up to this, it all went away and I was fine. No worms were harmed in the writing of this.

It got me thinking. While I was indulging my melancholy outlook, I got nothing done. The day was blue, I was blue, and nothing was going to get accomplished in that state.

What is a mood?

A mood is a generalized emotional state, which forms your attitude, and colors how you look at the world. Your frame of mind so to speak. So we have cranky, sour, melancholy moods, as well as peaceful, optimistic, blissful moods, and oh, don’t forget that seriously general mood, the blahs.

Every mood is a narrative,

…a story we have concocted around what is happening in our lives. Frequently it’s not even current stuff, but something triggered from the past. So we can get grumpy about something that happened 20 years ago without even knowing why.

We are not conscious we are creating the tale. We only feel the mood.

Our moods are more important than most of us realize. Successful people have control of their moods. They don’t let them take over and ruin their day. They push back against the dictator and create empowering moods.

Unhappy people don’t have control over their moods, which are usually of failure, or defeat, or inadequacy.

Moods rule our lives and dictate the kind of results we get in life. Mood matters.

The good news is you can control your mood and can always choose a useful one.

I use a technique (from Michael Neill) for mood control THAT WORKS EVERY TIME! It’s only 3 steps, so I encourage you to memorize it. You never know when it will come in handy.

This is how you dig out a bad mood and drag it blinking and snarling into the light of day. Leave the good ones alone. They are working for you.

Here we go. When you have a strange mood, and you don’t know the cause, complete these 3 sentences.

1) I’m feeling…….
(List all the words you can think of to describe your mood. Get as specific as possible. Remember, moods are general so home in on it.)

2) Because…..
(List all the possible triggers that come to mind. It’s usually more than one.)

3) Which means…..
(Aha, here is the story, the narrative. What nonsense are you telling yourself about these events?)

When you look at the narrative you have uncovered, usually a blatant and silly generalization of unlinked occurrences, you can simply spin it. Find a new story, unlink the causes, and reframe all of it.

Remember:

Every mood is a narrative.

Every narrative can be rewritten, so if you don’t like the mood, change the story.

Honestly, this is deceptively powerful and effective. Please try it.

Happy start to the holiday season!
Margaret
margaretnashcoach.com
 

If you would like help identifying and exposing some killer moods then contact me for a session either online or in person here in San Miguel de Allende. I’d love to help you make this work. Remember, if you don’t control your moods, then your moods control you! Contact me here.

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Banish This Toxic Word From Your Thinking

Banish This Toxic Word From Your Thinking

I was at the beach the other day watching a glorious sunset. Breathtaking.

The waves were gently breaking against the rocks on the beach, the water was aquamarine, there were fluffy clouds in the sky catching the pink light, and flocks of birds were flying somewhere, who knows, to sleep?

A few pelicans were still fishing and would swoop and crash dramatically into the water whenever they saw prey.

Sounds sublime, huh? And yet there I sat, melancholy, and not knowing why.

Then if occurred to me. I was feeling that I ought to be feeling all kinds of spiritual and uplifting emotions. That I was connected, enlightened, with some sort of witchy incantation to the setting sun on my lips. Or standing in some sort of yogic posture with a shamanic fire burning luminously, bidding farewell to the fading day.

No, instead, I was feeling irritated and a bit restless, and annoyed with myself for wasting this beautiful moment. That I ought to be feeling or doing something different.

Ought to. Ought. Roll it around in your head. Is that word ever welcome?

The other day a client was bemoaning the fact that she felt overwhelmed by everything she had to do and it spoilt her joy and wellbeing. She worked on her business from home and had a million ideas and responsibilities that needed to be acted on.

Ever been there?

I remarked that yes, we can be overpowered with too many things to do all at once. And too many things all at once frequently means whatever we are doing, we feel we ‘ought’ to be doing one of the other many things we need to do. We never feel we are doing what we should be doing and the result is frustration about not being good enough, or organized enough, somehow.

On the same beach holiday mentioned above, I was enjoying an afternoon alone on the balcony of our hotel room, reading my kindle, enjoying creative thoughts and making notes. Then suddenly my internal voice pitched up yapping ‘you ought to be down on the beach enjoying it while you’re here! You shouldn’t be doing this stuff when you’re in this lovely setting!’ Dang. There it was again.

Ought, ought, ought. That word trying to wriggle in and spoil my peace of mind. Telling me I’m never doing the right thing—there’s always a million other things that are better, more productive, good for me. Anything but this, Sunshine!

But I caught it this time. Drop kicked it over the balcony and into the sand.

Start noticing if the word ‘ought’ comes into your thinking. It does with me, often. I’m now noticing when I feel I ought to be cleaning the kitchen when I’m sitting on the veranda. Or I ought to be thinking about lunch when I’m working on this blog. Or I ought to be taking the dogs out for a walk instead of whatever I’m doing (now that’s probably true!).

Don’t talk to me about the treadmill. I always ought to be on that.

I’m dropping that word. Or at least taking note when it rears its ugly head. Banishing it. I invite you to join me in this experiment.

Just say no to any oughts that creep in.

Instead, give yourself permission to focus on whatever you’re doing and rebelliously give it your complete attention. Sit and bask in the sunset just for the beauty of it and lounge on the veranda with a book for as long as you like and feel good about it. Have a glass of iced tea and thumb your nose at even the slightest notion that there’s anything better to do.

The irony is you’ll become more productive, more focused, feel more peaceful and able to enjoy whatever you’re doing.

Because that’s what you ought to be doing!

 

 

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Need a Procrastination Blaster? These 3 little words are dynamite!

Need a Procrastination Blaster? These 3 little words are dynamite!

I am the world’s greatest procrastinator. And I have an array of tools to assist my expertise.

The Internet is one of my best. A guaranteed sink-hole for goals and plans.

I am forever listening to podcasts, online courses, downloading kindle books galore on all kinds of subjects—all of course relevant to something important I need to be doing. Indeed.

Did I mention YouTube? Another wonderful option for dealing with those ‘I’m not quite sure what to do next’ moments. You. Can. Spend. Hours.

Let’s not talk about email or social media.

I do make attempts to combat it. I can make an amazing list and then lose the list. Every time I start something I immediately feel there was other stuff I should be doing instead. So I stop, look for the list, change course and do something else. Until I remember the other thing that needed doing. Put it on that dang list so I don’t forget.

My head is stuffed full of wonderful ideas that would help a lot of people, generate a fabulous income, and make me a New York Times best selling author….

I could make a difference!… if I would just put them into action.

Big if.

The problem with this is I waste my day and end up feeling bad about myself. There were things I meant to do, yet somehow didn’t. The time just slipped away. It’s not fun and it’s not satisfying. It’s yuck. I feel out of control.

Then the best time management tool ever, fell into my inbox.

While fooling around I happened upon a bit of advice in one of the many email lists I subscribe to…that actually changed everything. It was a blog by Derek Doepker and it addressed this very problem. Derek (a best selling author, business coach and marketer) said that the best advice he had for managing those days when you can’t seem to focus was this:

Three little words.

Can I just…?

And then fill in the rest of the sentence.

Can I just get hold of that important contact number?
Can I just get a title and subject for that script?
Can I just spend 5 minutes starting that project that’s looming over me?

It’s dynamite

An amazingly powerful procrastination blaster. In fact, I don’t just use it for those overwhelm times—I use it every day. Can I just get these 4 things done today?

The idea is that if you can just, or at least, get something done, it’s better than not getting anything done and simply throwing in the towel on your day.

Can I just get X, X, and X done today? The secret of course is you will end up getting lots more done. But if you can at least get this done, your day is not wasted.

These three words will transform your life, I promise. You’ll feel in control, pleased that you’ve accomplished something, and that you’ve earned your Netflix fix at the end of the day.

Derek is now my coach

I was so impressed with this that I engaged Derek to be my coach. He’s amazing. I’m much more focused and not procrastinating nearly as much as I used to.

I got my new book finished by just finishing a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter. Or just looking up a phrase that I wasn’t sure about.

Now. Can I just get this blog finished before lunchtime?

Yes, I believe I can!

Take Care
Margaret

Check out my life-coaching—local if you are in San Miguel de Allende, and online if you prefer coaching from your couch, your dog on your lap, sipping your favorite beverage. No video I promise.
Margaretnashcoach.com

Here’s my new book, all credit for finishing and publishing to Derek, on kindle at
https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review/ref=dpx_acr_wr_link?asin=B07T8CCRV7.

You can look up Derek at https://derekdoepker.com. He’s wonderful but costs a lot more than I do…just sayin’.

Like what you just read? Sign up for free email updates. You’ll get a free copy of my ebook Sacred Cow Alert - 5 New Age Myths that May be Killing All Your Relationships!

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If You’re Stuck in That Problem, This Could Get You Unstuck

If You’re Stuck in That Problem, This Could Get You Unstuck

Have you ever had a problem so big, so overwhelming, and so intractable that it woke you up at 3 am with panic attacks? Caused you to have heart palpitations? Usually around health or money?

It happens to the best of us. Most of us. It’s not fun. And you can get stuck there.

My personal Waterloo was after Sept 11, 2001 when my business tanked by 90% overnight. Nobody wanted business training when they thought the world was ending. Kept me awake, I assure you. Couldn’t pay my bills.

What was yours? How did you handle it?

These are the three most common approaches to big scary issues:

Like the Warrior. Brave, head on, resisting, determined to win. Taking matters in your own hands and going out to battle. Take no prisoners. No surrender. This approach is positive and takes responsibility for the problem. It’s down to me folks. I can’t rely on anyone else.

Or you can be the Realist and stop resisting what is. You put yourself in expert hands and accept you can’t run that marathon. You surrender to reality. This is the way things are so let’s make the best of it. Let’s face it; I’ve never been healthy/good with money. No point in fighting it.

Then there’s the Friend. You make nice with your problem. What is it trying to tell you? You try to rise above it. You look for causes and meaning, and try to root out negative thinking. You relax and trust it will all work out because you believe everything that happens is meant to be.

Each approach has its pros and cons.

Here are some of the cons

The Warrior is stubborn and sometimes won’t listen to others… and can become the Terrorist if you are not careful. This approach can leave you exhausted and bitter. Fighting the battle becomes all consuming and more important than finding a solution. Result: anger, burnout, obsession with your issue, friends avoid you.

The Realist can leave you overmedicated, dependent on therapy groups, and entrenched in your victim story. Defeatist, not trying anything new. You come to believe there is no cure or that you will go bankrupt and lose your home. The Realist becomes the Victim and just throws in the towel. Result: depression, despair, low energy, just getting by but no solution. Friends avoid you.

 

The Friend approach can leave you dead if you’re not careful.

Alternative treatments can be effective, but sometimes you need more than affirmations and visualizations. Discovering the root cause of your money issues may not save your house from foreclosure. The Friend can become the Fanatic, insisting that meditation will cure everything. Just imagine all that money you’ve got and it will magically appear. Result: no results, loss of faith, sometimes death.

I have two friends who have passed on prematurely because they got stuck in one mode and in each case the shadow took over. One refused blood thinner and insisted on using quantum touch instead for his heart condition, and the other stubbornly stuck to green drinks and a vegan diet for a serious cancer condition. Both are gone now.

Would you like to know how to come unstuck from that problem?

Use all three. You need them.

Engage the Warrior and attack with energy and enthusiasm. Do your best. You can do this! But you must take action and stop procrastinating.

Indulge the Realist and give yourself a break. Relax, accept what is for an afternoon and collapse in a heap with the dogs and Netflix. Hey, it wasn’t entirely your fault.

Dialogue with the invisible Friend and look for the underlying causes—what can you learn from this? Is the Universe trying to tell you something? Can this make you a better person?

All three approaches are essential for the best results

What worked with my financial meltdown was this 3-pronged approach: go to battle and try to save my company with other streams of income; put myself in the hands of a financial advisor, swallow my pride and ask for a loan to tide me over; and hey, what was the lesson here that would prevent this happening again? Stay out of debt and live within my means. Save. Hello. I got through it, survived, and eventually thrived.

Recently there was a Netflix documentary about Ram Dass, the well-known and beloved spiritual teacher who suffered a debilitating stroke a few years back. He used the 3-prong remedy: Still in a wheelchair, he seemed really happy, content, at peace, and he said with a smile that the stroke was the best thing to happen to him. He wouldn’t have chosen it, but it was nevertheless a gift. He understood more about life. The Friend. And he was also busy with physical therapy and daily swimming. The Warrior. He had helpers to help him get around. The Realist. Covering all bases.

Sometimes we have to give in and accept help from others. Sometimes we have to put aside our long held beliefs about diet and vitamin pills in the face of serious illness and get to the doctor. Sometimes we need to fight, not accept what we’ve been told, and try different solutions. Sometimes we just need to pray.

The Warrior says you can beat this. The Realist helps you see your limitations. The Friend says, hey we can make something good come out of this. Buck up.

You need all three.

Find that balance between them. Using all three ensures your success.

If you are stuck in that problem then check to see if you are sticking with one mode of approach. Try using all 3 and see what happens. Let me hear from you! I’d love to hear your successes; and if you’re still stuck, maybe I can help.

 

If you liked this you might also like life-coaching. It’s about how to get your life to work the way you want it to. Visit my website and peruse the blogs, check out my life-coaching books, and find out if personal coaching could be just right for you. www.Margaretnashcoach.com.

 

 

 

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Stress! How to Avoid Meltdowns and Hissy-fits

Stress! How to Avoid Meltdowns and Hissy-fits

 

I had a major-meltdown yesterday and I’m not especially proud of it. I like to think I’m in control most of the time, and the mantra I use to keep a check on my natural warrior-like tendencies is, ‘I am calm, confident, and in control’. This works pretty well most of the time.

If I feel the need to shout at other drivers it’s always with the window closed, and I keep a beady eye on my moods to make sure they’re not going to impact others in a negative way.

Aren’t I good? Well, not so much. Yesterday the stars conspired against me; I lost my cool and exploded over a small but ill-advised remark made by my hapless husband.

Yikes. He retreated with the dogs to another part of the house and left me to stew. Which I did…. for about 5 lava-like minutes…and then remorse set in.

I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty and that I had let myself down. What had happened?

First World Problems

Get the hankies out.

OK so my car started breaking down on the way to a doctor’s appointment for which I was already late, I was in a hurry and forgot to eat, I couldn’t find a parking place and had to run, was late, and then the doctor wanted me to come back later, and despite rapidly lowering blood sugar I didn’t stop to pick up lunch on the way home because, you know, car trouble, and someone else was waiting for me there, and once home I tried to order food from my favorite delivery service, and the line wasn’t working, and then I tried ordering from a not so favorite pizza delivery and they weren’t answering, and I couldn’t prepare anything because my kitchen is currently being torn apart for remodeling.

Enter husband who makes unhelpful suggestion when I’m in a state of enhanced agitation and low blood sugar. Bless his heart. Bet he wished he had rephrased it.

Not one of these #firstworldproblems on its own would normally even make me blink, but when they all came at once I found I couldn’t cope. Stress! Where were my personal development resources when I needed them?

Rescue Remedy delivered via a book

This morning, still smarting from my failure to behave as an enlightened human being, I read something in a book by Michael Neill, super coach extraordinaire, which totally explained my lapse of civility. He helpfully suggested what I can do in the future to avoid it happening again. I want to share.

Neill says that in recovery there is an acronym called H.A.L.T., which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When you notice yourself experiencing any one of these feelings, then HALT what you’re doing and take care of yourself.

I was feeling ALL of them yesterday when I lashed out. Hungry—yep, angry—yep,  lonely—yep, in that I didn’t feel supported, and tired—tick, tick, tick, tick. Now I’m not one to scrimp on self-care, but this just got all out of hand before I knew I was in dangerous territory.

Eat Something!

Neill says that when you notice any of these symptoms of stress to simply stop and take stock. Whatever you’re doing isn’t going to go well when you’re in any of these states.

I could have stopped and eaten, rested, taken a deep breath, and canceled some of those appointments. Reminded myself to relax. Get a taxi. But mainly, eat something before blood sugar drops.

So the simple advice is to be aware of what is going on in your body before it’s too late. What do you need? How can you take care of yourself? Do it now. Tame that hungry lion into a peaceful kitty.

This is going to be a new mantra for me. H.A.L.T. Lesson learned. Stop that hissy-fit in its tracks. The remorse and guilt are not worth it.

Have you had a meltdown due to hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue?

Try H.A.L.T. next time and let me know how it works.

 

margaretnashcoach.com

 

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