Sunday, 19 June 2016

Three Months of Psychosomatic Disorder


    It was in mid-March when my body started breaking down. It caught me by surprise because everything had been going well. I was launching my website and was almost at the end of my Amazon self -published mini novella. I figured starting off small was the way to go. And I still feel that baby steps are important as long as there are definite end goals and solid reasons for all the blood, sweat, and tears that may be spilled along the way. I never thought the spilling would be literal. It is through strength that I write this and share it with you on a day that I feel well in hopes of empowering the ones still in the closet. In the end, it's about perspective and being honest with one's self and with others. 


    The coming of spring apparently uncovers much of what is hidden and swept under the rug during a winter of trying to survive and our bodies and minds working overtime. Bloating through guacamole had never happened to me before. I pride myself on my fresh and organic ingredients in what is a recipe no one can match me at. Yet there I was, unable to sleep. I took something natural to ease the pain and got a few hours' sleep. A few hot beverages the next day managed to bring the bloating down and make life good again. In the past, my stress always interfered with my digestive system. This was no different. And I'd fight it and win, as I had done in the past.


    What made this harder was that I didn't have time to battle one symptom when another showed up. I had multiple symptoms at once. Then they just disappeared. One night, I got a very swollen upper right lip and rushed to the emergency room at 8 in the evening. Of course, my turn in the queue was very low because it was a trivial condition that merited category 4 of 5 importance. After 12 hours I got seen by the urgentologist who gave me some cortisone, Zantac, and benadryl and a referral to the allergist. The allergist seemed very capable and automatically said I had no allergy and made me do a full battery of immunological tests, saying it was a protein with almost perfect certainty. The tests were negative. He was speechless. He is still waiting for me to get inflammation or hives in many places at once and goand do a blood test within 12 hours of the initial symptoms. I have had symptoms of bloating since along with ones of swelling and hives in weird places in my body. One night there was a bubble popping out on my forehead. It happened again the next night. I saw the doctor the next day and it hasn't appeared since. Reassurance from someone you trust makes things go away. At least for a while. 

    It was at this point that I dug real deep and decided to take charge of my negative thoughts and let my brain send positive messages to my body. It was an uphill battle, no doubt. It took small moments. It took slight thoughts that made my brain and thought pattern take a leap away from the present toxic existence. These included watching something different on TV, walking and taking pics at night, thinking of and planning my next vacation,  etc.  Every time I felt a symptom, I'd try and positive think it away. 


    Throughout this learning, I was honest with myself and looked at the problem from many perspectives. Trying to overcome defeatism is the hardest thing in the world. Below are the typical symptoms triggered by stress and also the 3 main factors of our everyday existence that contribute to health risks. And like everything else, none of us are immune to these. Like an addict, we have periods of time that we go down the healthy path. But we are always at risk for a relapse. 

    We need to define what a virtuous path means for us and use it to build our end goal.  I'm no magician to anyone but myself. But opening that window to empowerment requires the help of friends and others. Battling our demons is strictly up to us. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Ted Kouretas on Empowerment and Bullying

It's great being Ted Kouretas,  President and CEO of Optimal Empowerment.  But that's just something everyone is when working alone. It feels great to be able to control your own destiny. And without any experience, I'm authorizing myself as an editorial writer. I feel strongly about everyone being able to excel at whatever they wish.

In order to excel, one needs to be in a position to properly define what it is they need to excel at. To properly do this, one needs to be brought up feeling worthy and loved. This is why I, Ted Kouretas,  am one of the foremost supporters of anti bullying campaigns. This is the worst tragedy of a child's life, we will agree. But what is swept under the rug is the bullying among adults. Although we are free to avoid bullies in our lives, it is more difficult to avoid this in the workplace. It is stress building up from these bullies abusing us that cause burnout. It is the government that supports private enterprises with minimal checks and balances that is also to blame.

There are ways out of this. One is to know your rights. Another is to branch out alone.  There are other solutions in between. Know your power.

Empower yourself.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Slow Movement

I first got introduced to the Slow movement by Anne Marchand, someone who was also holding meetings for the Voluntary Simplicity network. It had started off as a slow food movement and contributed to the creation of the latter group. I still apply its basic tenet in my everyday life.
One of the most difficult jobs you can have is dealing with the public, whether in person or otherwise. I'm not referring to someone like me who makes appointments, but when you need to go to work and deal with the mass influx of people. Another stressful aspect of work or life is deadlines. In these and other situations, it's speed that's the problem. Not the actual physical speed of things, but the stress endured by our brains that muddle things up and build up the anxiety. This in turn uses up our endorphins and leaves us tired at the end of the day. Repeat this and it's the beginning of the destruction of our immune system.  This will eventually lead to burnout or other illness.
When I was going through this, I decided to consciously try to control my amount of negative excitement, or stress,  throughout the day so as to feel almost as fresh after work as I did in the morning. This took a very big conscious effort on my part and affected my production at first for the worst. It then slowly made me capture the control my mind needed over the once mixed up potpourri of inarticulate matter. My results got better and the time the task took me was often reduced.
This can be applied to every sphere, or aspect, of life.
This conscious empowerment soon becomes innate and very rewarding.
I can help you achieve this in any aspect of your life.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Bard and the Beauty

There are many beautiful things in the world. It was through an acquaintance that I found out about my happiness lying in living within a framework of honesty, truth, and knowledge on the one side and helping on the other. It is my job to eliminate dead ends and put forks on the road instead.
It was after my university days that I bought a one way ticket to rural Greece and wrote 2 books of poetry and another of short stories. I lived alone in a house with limited running water, an out house for a toilet, and no hot water. I gave up many everyday things like human contact for days on end and I also decided to lose any type of footwear. No injury came to me. When I walked to main street I made sure I looked presentable, but people knew of my unique behavior and I soon had ladies bringing me meals for days on end. I made art and created great literature.
Most of all, I experienced serenity and set out a life plan. I started helping others and it felt okay. It was a bit later that I realized that I had not empowered anyone since I hadn't empowered myself. I continued to meditate and create. It was a bit later that I became interested in politics and participated in aiding the marginalized.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

My Story --- Ted Kouretas' Tough Road to Optimal Empowerment

When a person is born, they need to be raised properly in order to be successful.  Success also depends on your environment and, unfortunately, your means. Some people are born in more enlightened households and others will have to struggle to the top. In a world of inequality, there is little to do but accept our position and work our way up. There are rules to follow and obstacles to overcome. As an experienced empowerment trainer with proven success, I need to tell you that anything is possible. If I could do it, anyone can.
I was born in a time of plenty to immigrant parents new to Canada who knew just enough to scrape by.  Having sent me to Greece to be raised by my grandparents to age 7, you can imagine what kind of a transition I was in for starting the second grade with almost no knowledge of the English language.  It was tough to even know how to communicate with my teachers. I managed to pass the 2nd grade with fairly good marks, thanks mostly to my math skills and the way I quickly picked up grammar. In grade 3, I was put in a class in the basement of the school called BP  (basement paradise ). It was a nice way of cramming the less successful students in an underachieving class. But I loved it. I soon became the smartest kid in the class. This was due to my mother's constantly looking over me and making sure my work was done and often sending me next door to a retired teacher's house to make sure I was progressing.  My uneducated parents unknowingly planted the first seed of empowerment in me --- EDUCATION. Education is a broad concept that people often mix up. I will touch on this later. I was soon a star student and overcame my obstacle of succeeding in school quite easily.
My life got a lot harder as I started high school. I was bullied a lot. I was very sensitive and unable to cope. I was unable to go to school without having trouble breathing or getting depressed.  Age 13 was a terrible and pivotal time in my life.  There was the bullying followed by epileptic seizures.  Then there were the anti depressants I had to take.  I was given permission to miss a year of school by the doctor, but I decided to stay. I felt that stopping school would have been beginning of the end.  I fought with depression for almost a decade. I am glad this happened because it brought about my creativity.
I was not bullied for long because a gang member that I helped with his homework warned the bully to stay away from me or he'd break his arm.  I had other bullying incidents, but this one that affected me so much had been taken care of. I recently met this bully and saw a pitiful man, which truly saddened me. It seems bullying was the only way he could fill the void in his life.
Bullying is perhaps the greatest impediment to happiness and success, breaking us down during our formative years.  I strongly encourage all of you to join an anti - bullying campaign in your area in order to help empower children to deal with bullies and empower the bullies to better understand their life and seek help. I will get into this in depth in the future. After all, this is the greatest problem to youth and to adults currently, affecting the increase in suicide rates and depression.
I will write a much bigger bio on my upcoming website and when I publish my short stories. Suffice it to say that even after all these setbacks, I never lost focus on my goal. Not for one minute. Not even through panic attacks and tearful confessions. During my darkest moments, there was always that light at the end of the tunnel that made my current moment worth living. I now understand that it was all a learning experience leading to now.
All my successes I attribute to turblent times and growth experiences.  My political career would not have been possible had I not learned how to be eloquent in my creative years. My leadership skills in special interest groups were possible because I had acquired the education to be able to empower myself. My being one vote away from being a member of the Canadian parliament was no fluke, but rather a question of will. And although I lost the runoff to the eventual winner, I took that as a sign that better days were ahead. After all, how many had gone as far as I had?
My proudest moments are less glorious. They are filled with gratitude from people I've helped. From dirty soup kitchens to heading support groups in upper class neighbourhoods, the smiles of gratitude and a human smile of grace under pressure are my biggest reward.  My biggest achievement to date is helping myself get out of dire straits and empowering others to do so.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have you at my website when it is up.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Calm Down Before We Go On

I discovered  a couple of years ago and have recommended it to many people for their relaxation needs and to sometimes facilitate flow experiences. ENJOY!

Enjoy the silence

While Depeche Mode and Mad Men are become spiritual and silent by accident, we need to understand that epiphanies are often obtained through meditation and inner peace even in pop culture.

Whether one is religious, spiritual, or agnostic, they need to find and manipulate the mechanisms that brings about inner peace within them.

The numerous ways of doing this are explored more in depth with happiness practitioners.