Book Review: Conditioning to the Core

Every area of your life is impacted when you work with feng shui or an organizing project. In addition to working with the energy of health in your home, it’s good to get some ‘real’ exercise too. Conditioning to the Core by Greg Brittenham and Daniel Taylor is recommended for serious athletes of all kinds and the trainers, coaches, body-workers and physical therapists who work with them. In addition, I used the book myself (even though I am not a serious athlete) and I liked the results of the stabilization exercises I used. I plan to keep using the books exercises over time. The four exercises I tried did not require any special equipment although many of the books hundreds of exercises do.
After three weeks of practicing my stabilization exercises 3x/week, I did notice that I felt more ‘stable’ when exercising with the Jillian Michaels DVD that I use (occasionally and often with the modifiers). This lead me to think about others who might find the book useful such as professional organizers, wait staff, trades people, and others who are on their feet or have the potential to injure themselves while working. There is a learning curve to the workout programs in this book so be prepared to put some time into it. Once you get it though, it’s pretty easy to use.
This book is divided into five sections.
Section one discusses the benefits of the exercises in the book which are designed to first stabilize, then strengthen, and then increase power to core muscles. It includes a discussion of each muscle that makes up the core muscles as defined in this book. The authors draw on their vast experience in training serious athletes and I’m sure they’ve read their fair amount of literature. This is, however, not designed to be a scholarly work as it does not give citations to back up their assertions.
Section Two is color coded as blue and has the stabilization exercises. Each exercise has photos and a step by step explanation of what to do. The exercises in all sections break down further into sub-sections depending on what part of the body they target.
Section Three color coded as red has the strength training exercises. The exercises from each section can be mixed and matched depending on the goals of the person using the book. With so many exercises available, it is easy to see how one could use this book for years without getting bored with the training.
Section Four is color coded in green and has the power training exercises.
Section Five has a test that you take to assess your core strength. After your assessment, you either begin with stabilization or strength exercises and gradually move to integrate power exercises into your routine. Section five also includes sport-specific suggestions.

Forget About Being Neat – For the Home

fi2014julpinWhen company is expected, a neat home is important to many of us. Neatness, however, is not the same as organized. As I’ve said before, an effective organizational system creates neatness as a byproduct. The main goal, however, is for your things and your space to support your life.

Here are two ways you can tell the difference between neat and organized.

  • If you can find something you need that you don’t use very often, you likely have a good organizing system. If, however, your space is spotless and you can’t find a flashlight (so you go buy another…even though you know you have six, ten, or twenty around here somewhere) then you are not organized even though your home looks neat.
  • If the things you use most often are available to you without any difficulties and they are in good working order then you have organization. If you take a grocery bag and clear your kitchen counter off to find your phone and then take the grocery bag to the basement you now have a neat kitchen counter but you lack organization.

Of course these are extreme examples to illustrate the point. Most of us cycle through different phases of organization and neatness each week and each month. In addition, organizing systems that have worked in one phase of life, may not work in the next phase of your life.

As you develop new systems for being organized, temporary chaos may ensue. This makes some people nervous but if you keep your focus on the big picture, you’ll have a space that is both neat and organized.

Related post: Forget About Being Neat – For the Office

Four Steps to Energy Clearing Your Office or Home

fr2014bells1Energy Clearing (also called Space Clearing) is using your intention to clear old or undesirable energy from a space and then using your intention to bless the space. Throughout history every culture has had a way to clear and bless space. People used drums, bells, sage or other tools for clearing their space. The format of the ceremony varied but the results were the same – a sense that the place was “freshened up”.

Energy clearing creates space that is healing, powerful and peaceful to be in. The following 4 step process will help you use your intention and focus to clear old energies from a space. This improves the feeling, harmony and balance in the space.

Use the following steps whether you are clearing your space between clients or you are clearing and blessing your home.

Step 1: Preparation

  • Clarify your intention for the space and write it down. (e.g. I would like people to experience balanced healing. or I would like my home to support my health and relationships.)
  • Choose tools (essential oil, clapping, bell, drum, feather, music)
  • Straighten office or home as best you can
  • Relax and focus

Step 2: Purification

  • Hold your intention in mind
  • Expand your awareness to fill the room/house
  • Offer prayers and gratitude
  • Circle the room/house with your chosen tool and your intention to release any stuck energy.
  • Clear yourself – Use the tool and your intention to clear energy from your body

Invocation/Blessing

  • Offer prayers/Read your intentions
  • Use chosen tool to activate the prayers and intentions into the space (circle the room again).

Preservation

Give something back to the space. (write your intention and leave it in the space or use a flower)

If you do this at your office between clients, each client will walk into a space that is clear of the energy of the person before them. If you do this periodically for your home, you will continuously clear away energy from any ungrounded emotional upsets.

Related article: Space Clearing: What is it and Why Would I Do It?