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Congratulations to our August Member of the Month, Terrell Flucas!

I believe it has been since 1986 when I came to understand how much control I have over my life (William Glasser) that I decided to reduce my stress. I cannot control what situations come into my life, but I can control how I deal with them. It has made me a better father, a better husband, and a better person. When I was a probation officer it allowed me to remain calm in situations that could have been exacerbated by rash behavior. I now work in a charter school, and it allows me to choose how I want to respond to student behavior. Sometimes they live with an angry response to their behavior. I want to show them that anger does not always have to be the response.

Stress rejection is very important. Stress is the clutter that makes it difficult to navigate to the important things in life. Take stress out of your life and you can really experience “life.”

It is my desire to be able to experience the world at its best. Stress restricts ones vision and keeps you from seeing the true beauty of the world. I am an amateur photographer and I see things around me that I know can only come through clear eyes. It is as though God has rewarded me for taking/keeping the blinders off.

I try to seize any opportunity to see the positive in any situation. Life only presents situations. It is up to us to interpret those situations. A positive approach allows you to look for, and find, solutions to most situations. I also work at modeling the positive behavior. It is easier to get others to “know” something can be done if they see it in action. Seeing is not believing, it is proof! They get the lesson from the observation; I get the blessing from the behavior.

As a father I can “hear” what my children are saying, rather than examining what they are saying. I can walk with them through any situation and help them step away from the stress to view the situation more clearly. I can remember that if a small child falls and the parent “loses it” the child will lose it too. If the child falls and the parent acts as though it is no big deal, the child will mirror their behavior. Sure, the child may shed a few tears, but they won’t think life as they know it is coming to an end.

As a husband, I see the beauty in my relationship with my wife and more greatly appreciate what she brings to my life. I am a more loving husband without the stress. I am that “port in the storm” to help my wife work through the stress in her life, as she is mine. Let me clearly state that the stress in our lives is work generated.

We don’t allow anything that could come up at home to move into the “stress” category. ANYTHING can be worked through! Stress rejection, in short, makes me someone that people don’t hate to be around. I don’t come with drama or baggage. I would like to think I bring hope.

The term “stress rejection” alone is a tremendous starting point for most people. It signifies that stress is an “acquired taste.” Stress does not have to be a part of your life. If you embrace this concept you are halfway home. However, we have been conditioned to the contrary. When one is moving towards a new place in life, or working to embrace a new concept, the more support the better. Things will look and feel different, and one needs to be able to connect with others who have walked this road with success.

The key to anything starts with self. You have to first embrace and learn something before you can properly share it with others. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE OR ASK FOR TIME FOR SELF. “ME TIME” = poetry writing and photography.

You must find or revisit the things that bring you joy in life. I often say that when people are most impacted by stress it is because they have abandoned the thing(s) that bring them joy. Taking time for yourself is not stealing time from others; it is giving you the opportunity to be a better “you” for them! It will also allow the significant people in your life, especially your spouse, to not feel bad about taking time for themselves. The little time apart makes the time together just that much better.

I am in no way a perfect man. I seek not perfection because once you attain perfection you will cease to grow. I just want to make my time here on earth the best it can be. I want to WORK every day at getting the best the day has to offer. If I fall short today, I know that I have another opportunity to do better tomorrow. If tomorrow doesn’t come . . . it has been one awesome ride!

Stay connected to your Higher Power!
Terrell Flucas

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Congratulations to our July Member of the Month, Renee Reid!

Working as a speech pathologist is labor intensive and requires vigilant attention to detail while multitasking. My clientele ranges between infants who are born with feeding issues to geriatrics who are unable to communicate or chew and swallow a regular texture diet. When a mother is unable to feed her newborn, when a child is a reluctant communicator because of an articulation or language disorder, or an adult is unable to express his or her wants and needs or eat with his or her family there is extreme stress, anxiety and isolation for the new parent, student, patient, and caregiver. The joy of living we often take for granted returns when: a mother is able to give nourishment to her newborn without his heart rate increasing; a child is able to communicate and understand academic and social language; an adult can express his wants and needs and eat with his family.

I love the fact that my work helps to relieve the stress of my patients and caregivers as the quality of their lives improve. Providing intervention that includes education and support is always rewarding but too often stressful and exhausting. The joy and quality of life that is reclaimed often comes at a cost to the speech language pathologist. During any given month, I may evaluate and treat more than one hundred clients. Over the last decade, the demands of an ever growing clientele have made my job increasing stressful.

I tried to counter the caregiver stress I experienced with commitment to the recreating effects of healthful living. As a result, I was able to function with a maximum of five hours of sleep nightly for years. However, the benefits of my positive lifestyle were greatly diminished after I witnessed the death of a dear friend and shortly thereafter experienced the declining health and resulting death of my dad. Sleep became fitful and frustrating. When I did fall asleep after hours of trying to clear my mind, I would wake up all through the night. Too often I watched the sun come up while wondering if I had slept at all. Muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills became a required nightly cocktail. However, lethargy, poor memory and a decline in my vitality was the result of taking these medications. How I wished for a remedy that did not add to the arsenal of prescribed drugs I was already taking.

When I ventured into becoming a “stress rejecter” I was skeptical to say the least. I joined the Stress Rejecters Nation and selected a product. I chose the intra-muscular tension control relaxation CD with the ocean waves background. To my surprise, following the suggestions on the intramuscular tension control relaxation CD resulted in the deepest most renewing nights sleep I had experienced in years. Within a few days I was no longer taking any medication to fall asleep. I began to sleep more soundly for longer and longer periods of time. I began to realize that my stress accumulated throughout the day and culminated in sleeplessness at night. So, when necessary, I dedicated about twenty minutes of my lunch time to practicing the intra-muscular tension control relaxation exercises at first with then eventually without the intra-muscular tension CD to guide me. As a result, I became so responsive to the techniques on the relaxation CD that I seldom remained awake for my favorite part of the CD which is the track with the ocean waves background.

I am sure that my insomnia was more severe than most. Yet, the deep intra-muscular tension control relaxation CD worked for me. I recommend this method of stress rejection to others who are suffering. I invite you to join the Stress Rejecters Nation, select an intra-muscular tension control relaxation product and enjoy drug free sleep and relaxation.

My healthful life style and commitment to relaxation allow me to cope with insomnia and more easily meet the demands of a challenging job. Also, seeing my patients lead less stressful lives is professionally rewarding to me. My patients and other caregivers seem less stressed and that feedback helps me feel good about how, in my profession, I try to make a difference in the world.

Renee Reid, M.S., CCC
Speech Language Pathologist

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Congratulations to our June Member of the Month, Claudia Ann Taylor!

 In my day to day endeavors, it is very important that I have and engage in a system that allows me to reject stress before it incorporates itself into my thinking processes and consequently affect my behavior and work. As a psychiatric nurse, people trust me to take care of their mental and sometimes physical health. Consciously rejecting stress demonstrates my desire to be the best that I can be and stay worthy of the trust my clients, family, and friends place in me. Teaching, guiding, and encouraging others to live their best life requires me to “practice what I preach”. I believe you can’t give what you don’t have. I engage in a concerted effort to pay attention to my thoughts because what I think about certain events or situations can affect my behavior. By doing this consistently, I have a better chance of keeping my feelings (emotions) in check and not have my life decisions determined by my feelings alone, which would be tantamount to having a four-year-old in charge of my life. For those around me I offer the ideal of stress rejection and this facilitates peace and harmony in my professional and personal life.

I am appreciative of my growth because I have not always had the wisdom or the knowledge to effectively manage stress and its effects on my life. But through years of studying and practicing as a psychotherapist I have grown to know the true importance of stress rejection techniques for me, my family, and my clients (individuals, couples and groups). I have been in practice for over 30 years and I am proud to say that the majority of that time has been spent increasing the quality of my life and those with whom I have come in contact with on a professional and personal level.

I believe in surrounding myself with people who have a similar quest for a peace-filled existence that does not create unnecessary turmoil or drama. Because of this belief, stress rejection is of primary importance for maintaining this posture. I know that every environment has the possibility of creating stress, but having the conscious desire and the skills to reject and/or reduce stress is life and sanity saving in those situations.

I am excited to be a part of the SRN and have found the tools offered to be extremely helpful for me personally and also in my practice. The tools and techniques have been a great help with clients who are dealing with stress, anxiety and depression as well as other disorders. A very large percentage of my work has been with veterans. I have worked with approximately 8-9 thousand veterans in the past 10 years. Currently, I have a weekly PTSD group with veterans who have served in the Gulf, Iraq, or Afghanistan wars. I use the materials as my “co-therapist” in this group. I think that the work done in this group has rippling therapeutic effects on their families and communities. I am extremely pleased with early indications of success with this process. I am planning to incorporate more CDs on a regular basis as their homework assignments. The veterans voice an anticipation of further growth and development of their new found skills and further decreasing of their symptoms and negative experiences. I will continue to share the results. If I sound a little biased, please pardon my partiality but I am particularly partial to this group for all that they do for us.

Claudia Ann Taylor, RN, M. Ed. NCC, CAMS

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Congratulations to our May Member of the Month, Ruth Parker!

      

Rejecting stress is essential to my life and has been for several years. Life experiences have motivated me to find the answers. Due to the fact I was under daily stress being a caregiver for my husband, before his death, for 7-8 years I faced daily more stress than I could manage at that time. Just previous to this occurring I was under 9 years of stress dealing daily with a son using drugs, and his death. I know what stress is, and I also know the results from being stressed for years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, which I feel was created because of the stress I was experiencing (and in fact two doctors told me I had no reasons for the cancer except for the extreme stress). Diagnosis of cancer was my turning point. I was able to realize what was happening to me and change what I was doing. My solution at that time was meditation, prayer, and massive support from friends, by sending out an email asking for help. I asked for volunteers to take my husband to the doctor, to physical therapy classes weekly at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, and for a day off each week to support only myself and to heal. I was able with the help of others, to take back my life. I made a conscious decision to change my thinking and my behaviors. I stopped thinking I had to do everything, and I gave up control.

In February 2010 my minister asked me to do a weekly Spiritual Growth Circle in my home that supported many areas, such as discussing spiritual and personal growth topics, challenges the participants were having taking back control of their lives, daily meditation, learning to love themselves more, being in gratitude for the good in their lives. Right now there are ten women in this group and this weekly Circle has changed their lives. The results from this is less stress, more peace and calmness, spiritual growth, being able to move through their lives with the knowing that we do create our lives and we can change our direction at any time. Each week every woman present does a “check-in” and reports the positive events and changes in her life that happened in the past week. Negativity is not allowed. We also wear purple bracelets that are imprinted complaintfreeworld.org , based on a book by same name written by Will Bowen. This is based on the belief that our words are powerful indicators of our thoughts, and our thoughts create our lives. When we complain we put out negative energy and as a result, we draw to us negative experiences. One of the most important things we can learn is not to complain. Instead of complaining, we can learn to change our attitude and this will create far less stress and negativity in our lives.

Stress Rejecters (SRN) is a support for me in my life and to utilize with this Circle of women who I meet with weekly. I think it is a valuable website we all need and can use for more support for each of us in our work, family, personal relationships, church and our community.

Ruth Parker, Phoenix, Arizona

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