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Talk Out Loud To Reduce Stress
April 02, 2005
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Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #031, April 1, 2005

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Talk Out Loud To Reduce Stress

Balls Have Brains Too

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Written by Noel McNaughton
Midlife-Men.com
(c) copyright 2005 midlife-men.com

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If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.

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Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men. And a special welcome to the new subscribers this week. Hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful.

Almost everyone I know is feeling a lot of stress these days. I tried an exercise a few days ago that I found pretty helpful in reducing some stress I was feeling. You might find it useful too.

Our bodies are amazing things, and that includes our balls. Find out why below...

There are about 950 words in the articles in this newsletter, which may take about four minutes to read.

Noel

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Celibacy can be a choice in life, or it can be an unintended effect of a seemingly innocent encounter.

While attending a marriage encounter weekend, Walter and his wife, Ann, listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other."

He addressed the men, "For example, can you name your wife's favourite flower?"

Walter leaned over, touched Ann's arm gently and whispered, "It's Robin Hood All-purpose, isn't it?"

And thus began Walter's life of unintended celibacy.

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Talk Out Loud To Reduce Stress

The Life We Are Given: A Long-Term Program for Realizing the Potential of Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul by George Leonard and Michael Murphy has an exercise called "Taking The Hit As A Gift"

They write: "Unexpected blows come in many varieties, from the merely bothersome to the profound... Our most common responses to such unfortunate happenings tend to make things worse."

What they mean is we usually react by reflex, and either fight back, or whine and snivel in a victimish way, or maybe simply deny we felt anything, which puts us in the habit of not even knowing we are feeling anything. (When I was a teenager, I thought it was cool to not react when some jerk tried to spook me by sneaking up behind and whacking me, or maybe giving a loud shout. I got good at it, and eventually almost nothing would make me flinch. When I got older and it turned out experiencing my feelings was actually a good thing, it took me quite a while to tune back in.)

George Leonard, who is an Aikido master, suggests the kind of response cultivated in martial arts: fully experience and acknowledge the strong feelings, and use the energy to handle the situation.

To do the exercise, you need a partner. One person takes a balanced and centred stance, with the feet about shoulder width apart, and an arm out at a 45 degree angle. The other person sneaks up behind, and without warning, gives a loud shout, and simultaneously grabs and holds the arm, without pulling the person off balance.

Leonard says the person who has been surprised should "be totally aware of how the sudden hit affected you. Speaking aloud in a clear voice, describe exactly what is going on within you. Specify exactly where in your body each feeling or sensation is located. Don't look at your partner as you speak. Resist the temptation to point the finger of your free hand at different parts of your body. Use words only, and be as specific as possible. For example: 'When you grabbed me, I jumped and blinked both eyes. My heart seemed to jump up into my throat. Now my throat feels a little dry. I can feel the pressure of your hands on my right wrist...'"

As you keep speaking, you'll notice that the conditions you describe seem to melt away. "Many people discover that merely becoming aware of an imbalance tends to correct it," Leonard says.

The second part of this exercise is to notice that the sudden hit has added energy to your body and mind. Your whole nervous system becomes more alert, and you can use the energy for whatever positive purpose you choose. (A normal reflex is to use the extra energy to fight back, but now, having this new knowledge, you can use it for something useful, such as working on a project you have been putting off.)

Leonard suggests you "take a series of deep breaths, move up and down rhythmically by bending and unbending your knees... ask your partner to release your wrist, and walk around the room expansively, arms open."

How I Used This Idea Without A Partner

When I read this exercise, I didn't have anybody handy to get to sneak up and scare me, so I decided to put the principle of speaking aloud about an anxiety I was feeling.

I have a new project coming up that I have not done before, and I was having some of the typical fears I get under such circumstances - "what if I can't do it right? What if I don't know how? What if I fail miserably and nobody ever wants to hire me again?... that kind of thing. (I hasten to add that I am totally qualified, and know I can do the job well, but some 'chicken little' part always seems to get its voice in there just the same.)

I decided to tune into where in my body I was feeling this anxiety, and speak the fear out loud. "I feel some tension in my solar plexus area, and the fear is that I will not have sufficient skill to do the project properly. I feel a bit of tension in my shoulders, and the fear is that I will appear to be a fool." I continued with this exercise with my eyes closed in order to tune into my body as much as possible. Wherever I felt any kind of tension, I explored it, discovered what it was about, and spoke it out loud (needless to say, nobody was in the house at the time).

In a short time, all my anxiety about the project had disappeared.

Are you anxious about anything? Money shortage? Fear of being down sized? Can't lift as much weight at the gym as you used to? Try this exercise. Maybe you'll sleep better tonight :-)

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If You Send Mail To Lists, You Might Want To Try This

If you send a newsletter, or other mail to a list of any kind these days, you will have noticed that spam is a bigger and bigger problem. Actually, while spam is the fundamental root of our problems, the anti-spam measures that large ISPs and important free e-mail hosts (such as Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail) undertake are what hurts legitimate mail sent to lists.

Their spam filters catch us by mistake, the way tuna nets catch dolphins. So the SiteSell SpamCheck Tool is a quick way for honest newsletter writers to make sure their e-mails are less likely to be considered spam by ISPs, by Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail (which tosses you into their Junk folders) and even by individual filters set up by an ever-growing number of recipients around the world. (e.g. I sent some articles about ranching at midlife to a magazine the other day, and the editor never got them because their spam filter knocked them out. Turns out I had the three-letter word for mating (s"ex) in one of the articles. I sent it again using 'six' instead, and it went through. I had not thought to run the email through my spam filter, or it would have caught it.

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If you would like to check an email you are sending to a list for 'spamminess' you are welcome to use the spam checker that comes with the web package I use, with my compliments.

Here's how it works...

STEP 1: Copy-and-paste your subject, but start your subject with the word "TEST" (without the quotes, in UPPER CASE) so that they know this is a test e-mail. (If the subject does NOT start with TEST, they'll assume it's REAL spam and delete it). Here's a sample subject...

TESTFlower-Lovers Ezine #007: Peonies for the Yukon

STEP 2: Copy-and-paste the rest of your e-zine and simply send it, exactly the way you would send it to your recipient, to...

spamcheck-info1068@sitesell.net

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Balls Have Brains Too

Dr. Robin Baker from the School of Biological Sciences at Britain's University of Manchester conducted some remarkable research that showed that a man's brain can unconsciously sense from a woman's behaviour when her ovulation stage has arrived. His body then calculates and releases the exact amount of sperm required at any given moment to create the greatest chance of conception.

For example, if a couple is having sex every day, around the woman's ovulation time his body may release 100 million sperm per session. If he hasn't seen her for three days, his body will release 300 million sperm in a session, and 500 million if he has not seen her for five days - even if he has been having sex every day with other women.

Based on biological calculations by his brain, his body releases just enough to do the job of conception and fight off any other competitive sperm that may be present. From "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps" by Barbara and Allan Pease p. 206

(Ed. note: I have no idea how they found research subjects to submit to this - especially women who would have 'a session' with a guy who has been getting it on with other women every day for the past five days. Do you know any women like that?)

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A Question RE: Vocation "What can I do that isn't going to get done unless I do it, just because of who I am?" - Buckminster Fuller

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Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.

Enjoy!

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Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.

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Classifieds


A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.


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I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to noel@midlife-men.com . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.

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Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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