Thursday is the 4th. The 4th of each month I have scheduled a free webinar for PULSE people which includes anyone who is interested in what PULSE is and how it works. This months Webinar is on a Sharp Mind. It deals with the magnificent brain, neuroscience and many other amazing things that help us maintain and increase our mental capacity and our intellectual strength. Of course in forty minutes we can only scratch the surface. I invite you to join in the conversation especially if you have an interest in what research is saying about brain function and capacity or the difference between “mind” and “brain”.

This will be the first in the SHIFT series of Webinars. Sharp Mind, Happy Heart, Independent Spirit, Fit Body and Trusting Soul make up the series and are scheduled on the 4th of each month at 10:00 am Mountain Time for the next five months. Join the discussion. You’ll find more info and a link below.

Event: ‘A Sharp Mind’
Date: Thursday, September 04, 2014 – 10:00 am
Duration: 40 Minutes

One of the measures of wellness in the SHIFT process is a Sharp Mind. All of us have days where we feel dull, where the words we are searching for are just out of reach, where our brain feels sluggish and not always engaged, like it is slipping gears. Then we have other days were the focus is crystal clear and we know the answers and we can solve any problem, where we are witty and thoughtful and ON. What are the skills that we can use to increase the likelihood of a having Sharp Mind every day? What makes it sharp or dull and how can we measure on a scale from dull to sharp where we are now?
Join us on September 4th to talk about intelligence of the mind!
Click the Link Below to Join the Webinar:
https://pulseinstitute.adobeconnect.com/_a935439986/sharp/

 

 

SHIFT is often what we need when things are not working.  A SHIFT in perspective can change everything and really there are many ways for that to happen.  With one measure of intelligence on each of your five fingers you can quickly access where you are today and evaluate what might work to SHIFT you to a new perhaps healthier perspective. The measures of well-being are a Sharp Mind, a Happy Heart, an Independent Spirit, a Fit Body and a Trusting Soul.  They describe your level of mental, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual well-being and you can put them on your fingers so you remember to assess them daily.

In the last blog I talked about shifting your score on the Sharp Mind Scale and today I want to explore the Happy Heart measure of emotional well-being, the one I use my ring finger to measure.  Like the mind, the heart has its own intelligence and we know when our scale is close to the palm of our hand when we are feeling low or disconnected from our feelings.  When we are past the second knuckle on our ring finger, we are feeling pretty good and we are in touch with those emotions.  That can range from joy to pain.  The idea is to experience more joy than pain but recognizing that you have emotional pain is definitely the first step.

How can you learn to experience more joy, deeper emotions and improve your emotional well-being?  There are so many books about happiness and how to achieve it.  Every one from the Dali Lama to your next door neighbour has either published a book on happiness or has a suggestion for how you might be better at being happy.  Happiness is characterized by positive or pleasant emotions and the scientific study of it has been prolific in recent years.  You can even earn a degree these days in positive psychology and if you are American you have an inalienable right to pursuit happiness.

Here are some ideas for moving your score from 1, near the palm to 10 near the tip of your finger.  Smile.  Just smiling can change your mood. Find something to smile about.  There is usually a happy place you can go to in your heart when you are feeling blue.  The trick is to learn all of the ways to get there.  Gratitude is important.  The old adage of counting your blessings can bring you back to happy.  Accomplishment and a sense of pride in yourself can improve your happiness score.  Remind yourself of happier times.

Appreciation, affection, attention, approval and allowing given or received can also move the scale toward 10.  Sing, dance, move, call a friend, share, play, connect, organize, plan … do what makes YOU happy.

Happy is an individual state, different for each of us.  I think part of it is learned which means you can get better at experiencing happy just by noticing when you are and what is happening at that moment.  Put that experience in your smile bank for use when needed. Knowing, doing and being happy will take different levels of energy on a given day.  Assessing it daily with the other scales of well-being is an important step of awareness.

For a quick fix go back to the RENEW idea.  Rest: Give yourself an emotional break. Energize:  Read something happy, visit your happy place, watch a happy video. Nurture:  Some forms of nutrition have magical happiness qualities, comfort food, chocolate.  Go easy on the mood enhancers though. Exercise:  Releases endorphin, the natural happiness drug.  Water:  Hydration is good for you and your heart.  Keeping your heart healthy goes hand in hand with keeping your emotional well-being score high. Rest, Energize, Nurture, Exercise and Water.  RENEW.

We sometimes assume that others are in charge of our happiness.  Not true.  It’s up to you.  That will be the topic for the next Blog on relational well-being.

Don’t worry….be happy…..

The first scale for measuring well-being on the SHIFT hand from the last blog, SHIFT Happens, is the scale for mental or intellectual well-being. It can be found on your pinky finger. How sharp are you today? That is the first question. Are you feeling on top of things mentally or are things a little foggy and dull today? On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your mental well-being today?
Scales are personal. Only you can determine what they mean for you. Generally speaking you have an average day that ranks around a 5 on your scale, a day where nothing gets missed and things go well. Nothing too exciting happens.  You answer questions that are asked of you and you accomplish routine tasks in routine ways.
Then there are days where a spark of curiousity illuminates the ideas in your head and you can hardly stand how brilliant you feel. Usually someone notices that you are ON and that lights you up again and away you go. The ignition is usually based in curiousity and the fuel is satisfaction of the curiousity, a new idea or a synthesis of thoughts that create new packaging for old ideas. A 10 day on the scale from 1 to 10, where your ideas are at your fingertips … literally.  You have a sense of feeling encouraged and motivated and in the groove.
And then there are days where you can’t even string a sentence together. On those days you tend to rely on your other modalities or intelligences to get you through. Some days all of the scales are close to the palm of your hand, at a 1 on the scale. On those days it might take the igniting of one intelligence to pull the scales up for all of them. Mentally it is curiousity. If you can find something to be curious about you can improve the scale almost immediately. Sometimes I just get curious about why I am feeling so dull minded. That can be enough of a spark. I write about it because words and language serve our mental wellness. Or I read something that might provide a spark.
Rest is important. We are dullest when we have had little rest. Energy is important and we can take energy from that spark of curiousity. Nutrition is important. There are many studies about brain food. Exercise is important. Sudoku or cross words or brain teasers give us a work out. Water is important. Hydrate you r brain. That three o’clock drop in mental capacity is best served by a tall glass of water. My First Nations friends always remind me that water is the first medicine. To improve on our sharpness scale it is important to keep hydrated.  Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise, Water = RENEW for brain health and wellness.

Keep the mind Sharp so that we can SHIFT our integrated scales toward greater personal well-being.

A Sharp Mind – Pinky

A Happy Heart – Ring

An Independent Spirit – Middle

A Fit Body – Index and

A Trusting Soul – Thumb

Use your fingers to do your own check in now.

Watch for the next blog on ideas for improving your Heart well-being on the Happy Heart Scale.

There are many ways to measure your well-being.  This week I have been thinking about one that is more portable … one you can keep on your finger tips for quick check ins when you are going through a rougher time in your evolution as a person.  I suppose this could become an APP but for now all you need is five fingers to set and remember the scales that will help you assess your state of mind, body and heart.  I have always talked about the three orientations that people.  Past oriented people are more likely to live in the heart and feel things deeply.  Present people are more likely to live in their body and fill the spaces they occupy.  Future oriented people are more likely to live in their minds, thinking deeply.  All of us have head heart and body so there is no escaping the past present future orientations.  Each can be identified as a Type of intelligence.  Many people are writing and study multiply intelligence and they do include head, heart and body kinds of knowing. I thought it would be helpful to have a quick assessment tool to evaluate where you are, how you are doing, by your own determination on these and two others.  Besides physical intelligence, mental or intellectual intelligence and physical intelligence I have added relational or social intelligence and spiritual intelligence to the Check In List.

Beginning with the mind, consider how SHARP your mind is today.  On a scale of one to ten, one being the foggiest day in your mind and ten being the brilliant day when you made great discoveries, how SHARP are you today? Use your preferred hand to slide that scale across your baby finger until you can feel and see how you feel right now.  If you are feeling SHARP you will end up near the tip of your finger.  If you are not feeling especially SHARP today you will be closer to the palm of your hand where the fingers come together to help each other.

Now on your ring finger consider the level of HAPPINESS you feel in your heart.  How joyful and happy are the emotions you are experiencing right now.  Again, slide your preferred hand up and down the ring finger of your other hand to determine a visual and sensational point to indicate that experience.  Closer to the palm is less happy than closer to the tip and truly joyous might be off the end of the finger.

Now for your middle finger.  This is a social intelligence measure and the scale relates to your level of INDEPENDENCE.  How independent of spirit are you feeling today?  I am not sure why I choose independence as the measure except that experiencing a sense of independence and confidence and courage allows you to develop relationships on your terms.  Closer to the palm means you are depending on others for your social well-being while closer to the tip indicates that you are in charge of your own social agenda.

The pointer finger or index finger represents your body and its level of FITNESS.  How FIT are you?  Closer to the palm indicates that work needs to be done to maximize the energy that our bodies can provide. I think of another acronym that I use as a reminder to myself about fitness.  RENEW – Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water.  These are the things that contribute to a healthy and fit body. Are you getting the right combination of these things to keep you fit?

The thumb represents the soul, the spiritual intelligence that connects us with mankind. Here the measure is TRUST.  How trusting a soul are you?  Do you have faith in mankind? Can you trust your fellow human beings or a deity that you have come to know as kind and loving?  Can you move beyond yourself in a way that benefits others and the planet?  This scale is about consciousness which can be raised if we trust each other.

Each time you use your preferred hand to measure the scales on your other hand you will notice that the results are not constant.  Where we are on a given day at a given hour can SHIFT.  Using the scales SHIFT scales can provide immediate feedback on the depth and direction of the SHIFT and can promote corrective action.  Keeping things on an even keel, especially in difficult times is key and working toward the tips of the fingers and beyond on all of scales can improve our attitudes, our perspectives and our lives.

On a scale of 1 to 10 measure your SHIFT.

Sharpness of mind
Happiness of heart
Independence of spirit
Fitness of body
Trust in mankind

Over the next week or so I will write about each of the areas of intelligence and suggest ways to change the results on each of the fingers.  Meanwhile please let me know if you use the scales and how they work for you.

MERPS – Mental, Emotional, Relational, Physical and Spiritual+ Well-being indices.