Oasis in the Overwhelm by Guest Blogger Millie Grenough

I met Millie Grenough many years ago when she was one of the supervisors I was a trainee in the Rubenfeld Synergy Method of talk and touch. Through this gentle and powerful modality of connecting the mind, body and spirit, I watched as Millie found her voice. Literally, she sang for us and encouraged us to express ourselves through song. Her book results from a lifetime of experience, training and living.

OASIS in the Overwhelm: 60 Second Strategies for Balance in a Busy World is the first book written by an executive coach/clinician using the latest brain research to teach four quick and easily-learned strategies that:

    * diminish the harmful effects of stress
    * increase a sense of personal control
    * engage and enhance physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual health
    * are enjoyable and easy to do.

Designed for both the lay public and coaches/clinicians, this book is timely, given the growing public interest in recent scientific studies regarding stress-related illnesses and the power of humans to change their own brain wiring.

Millie uses real-life stories from her clients, her own personal experiences (she created the OASIS Strategies during her recovery from a near-death accident in the midst of her own high-velocity lifestyle), and the latest results of scientific research to validate the effectiveness of the strategies.

Special note for Boomers: Old dogs can learn new tricks! Jump into your own OASIS!

You wrote this book – OASIS in the Overwhelm – How and why did you write it?

I was definitely in the fast lane in my life: eight things on my plate at the same time, and I thought I could handle it all. Then I had a near-death accident. I was so hard-headed that maybe I needed three concussions to make me wake up. I finally realized that, if I wanted to survive, I had to change my fast-paced life style. In my months of recuperation, I made two promises to myself:

    1) I would find specific strategies for myself to live a saner, more balanced life.
    2) If the strategies worked for me, I would find ways to share them with my harried colleagues.

How does stress impact our daily lives?

    1. contributes to 80% of major illnesses,
    2. is a factor in 75% to 90% of visits to doctors’ offices, and
    3. costs businesses as much as $300 billion a year?

Do we need to get rid of all the stress in our lives?

Definitely not! Stress is a normal and natural part of our lives – if my blood didn’t push against my heart when I’m sleeping, it wouldn’t beat; if I didn’t have any pressure to think up something new, I wouldn’t create anything. The trick is learning how to balance ourselves and how to balance the kind and quantity of stress in our lives.

When is the only time that we are without stress in our lives?

Most people think it’s when they are sleeping, or when they are on vacation, or when their bills are paid. Dr. Hans Selye, the grandfather of stress physiology, says that the only time we are without stress is – are you ready? – when we are dead! If you are a cook, you will appreciate more words from Selye. He says simply “Stress is the spice of life.” Too much? You wreck the dish. Too little? Blah, bland.

What is this word – neuroplasticity – and what does it have to do with my brain?

The latest brain research shows that our brains keep changing as long as we live – and we have the power to change how our brains operate.

What do you mean – I can re-wire my own brain?!

What we do & even what we think has an effect on which brain pathways grow.

You say that Old dogs CAN learn new tricks? Do you have proof of that?

Yes, absolutely! We used to think that after age 25 or so, we lost our brain cells and they would never be replenished. Not true – new research shows that we develop new neurons even into our 90s.

What is the OASIS Training Program and how did it begin?

Five people who had heard me present OASIS and had read the book came to me and said, “Millie, these Strategies are really making a difference in our personal and professional lives. We want to dive into them more deeply –and learn more about the neuroscience – so that we can teach them to others.”

That was five years ago. As of now, we have both Onsite and TeleTrainings and we are in our 13th OASIS Training Program. There are graduates throughout the United States and in Panama, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. The graduates include professions from coaches and clinicians to IT managers, CEOs and harried parents; ages range from 20s to 80s. They are bringing an OASIS to corporations and to their supper tables.

The OASIS Strategies take only 60 seconds – can that really make a difference?

Yes. When you do one of the Strategies, for example, the 3-Breath-Countdown or the Change Your Channel – you will notice an immediate difference in your physiology, in your emotional status, and in the clarity of your perceptions.

OASIS has been translated into Spanish, and has sold thousands of copies; why do you think it is so appealing?

Because it is so simple – and it works. In the book and on the CD, I promise that:

    you can learn all four OASIS Strategies in one hour or less
    you can use them immediately in your daily life at work and at home
    they will make a positive difference in your life, and
    people around you will be glad you are using them.

And it is true.

For you personally, what makes you happiest about OASIS?

It is my tiny contribution to peace in the world – first with myself, then with others – minute by minute, tiny bit by tiny bit. It seems to be working.

For more information about working with Millie, milliegrenough.com or millie@milliegrenough.com

Schedule a private in-person counseling or online coaching session with Dr. Erica, DrEricaWellness.com.


Dr. Erica


1 Sadie-Michaela Harris { 06.14.11 at 9:26 am }

I’m so pleased I read this article. I had no idea stress contributed to such a high proportion of serious illnesses.

Neither did I know our brains keep changing as we live that is a huge in itself. They really are re-programmable;- I have always believed that!

Thanks for sharing 🙂

2 jasmine { 06.27.11 at 7:13 pm }

It is hard these days. Stress is a mind trick we can overcome by exercising breathing techniques and nutritional diets 🙂
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3 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 06.28.11 at 1:48 am }

I have not heard stress described as a mind trick but that is so true – and we can trick that stress right out of us.

4 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 06.28.11 at 1:52 am }

We used to believe that the brain was static and could not grow after a certain age but current research has revealed that brain plasticity continues throughout life. What we do now can help to keep our brains healthy indefinitely.

5 Steve Nicholas { 07.26.11 at 2:59 am }

Thank you for sharing this, Dr. Erica! It is amazing the way stress plays its role in our life. I liked the point that the only time we are totally stress-free is when we are dead. It reminds me of something that we read about in seminary: burnout is a very bad thing, but so it rustout, and we need to find our ideal level of activity to be our most productive instead of just trying to get rid of stress.
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6 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 07.26.11 at 8:36 pm }

Steve, When my mother was dying, I noticed the stress lines in her face gradually dissolve. But the time to dissolve the stress, or at least to lessent itto reach our dreams.