Monthly Archive: November 2014

Gratitude That Works

Electricity-of-Gratitude

This is in the US the time of Thanksgiving and a great time to talk once more about the power of gratitude. Marie Forleo in her latest TV Tuesday talked about Robert Emmons and his book called “Gratitude Works!”.

In it, he writes, among other things, that gratitude works better the more meaningful it is to us personally. For instance, most of us can be grateful that the sun rises and sets every day, that we are alive, that we can connect with something in our surroundings if we reach out. These things are there for all of us to be grateful for.

But what happens if we focus on one thing that is meaningful to us, and think of what brings meaning in our lives from that one thing. For instance, I am grateful for my health. My health has been challenged lately, so I wake every day grateful that I have what I have – a partner who I love and laugh with; a warm and healthy home where I live and work; that even with health challenges, I can enjoy the good things in life – good food, good company, a good book; my intellect and the means I have to feed that intellect; that I continue to be motivated to learn and grow. These are things in my life right now that I am truly grateful for.

What is of value to your life right now and how does it fill you with gratitude?

Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit http://www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.

 

 

 

 

 

Two Kinds of Intelligence – Rumi’s Wisdom

by Lisa Dietrich

by Lisa Dietrich

Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

This poem was written by Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. It could have been written a week ago – it’s expression and wording are so relevant to us now. And so worth carrying into our hearts.

He speaks of heart-knowing and body-knowing. Of what moves us and what we know is true deep down; and then attending to what we know.

Attending to this special knowing isn’t as easy as we would like. Most of us have covered up our knowing with obligations, rules, fears and what we have come to think of as necessary imperatives. For instance, I have a big presentation tomorrow; I don’t have time to sit quietly over dinner, go for a walk, or do anything that isn’t directly related to preparing for this event. And yet, if I were to take that walk, I might discover something about myself that would bring that presentation alive and make it genuine.

Martha Beck says, in her article “Are you there Gut? It’s me, Martha”, that we spend our whole lives being taught to override our intuition. We’re taught to think things through, really think about it, give it some thought. Instincts, however, aren’t thoughts. They are the other kind of intelligence and can’t be accessed in the same way we access our thoughts.

The way we discover our inner knowing is to be still, meditate, go for a walk, simply be with ourselves and allow a space for that knowing to surface.

Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit http://www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.

 

 

Mindfulness Meditation Myths

I came across an article by Elisha Goldstein (a clinical psychologist practicing in Los Angeles) that talks about myths about Mindfulness.

Sometimes what we think about meditation can stop us from practicing, or even trying it out, even if we think it would be good for us.  Here are mindfulnesshis 5 top myths:

  1. Mindfulness is for taking a time-out from life, quieting the mind and reducing stress.

Mindfulness does ultimately reduce stress, and does often quiet our mind. And, even more, the goal of a mindfulness practice is to wake up to the here and now, to wake up to whatever is happening for us in the moment, developing a greater awareness and compassion for ourselves, and ultimately for others.

  1. You need to carve out plenty of time in a “serene mindful” space.

That’s one way of being mindful. However there are many ways that we can practice mindfulness throughout our day. It may be only for a moment, or 5 minutes, or even an hour. It may be sitting in a quiet room, or walking to work or in a park, or in a moment of stress, breathing in and out for a few seconds before responding to a situation.

“Wherever you are that’s the entry point.” Kabir

  1. It’s about focusing on concentration.

Really, mindfulness is about cultivating awareness. It many as a result improve our concentration. I nice bonus, if it happens. When we meditate on, say, our breath, we may notice our mind wandering to thoughts or worries or feelings. This is what a mind does. And when that happens, once we become aware of it, acknowledging it and bringing our awareness back to our breathing.

  1. Mindfulness is for people who are relaxed.

Mindfulness gives people a greater internal sense of control where they feel they can ride the turbulence of life with a sense of ease. We often come to meditation because we are not relaxed, when life has thrown us a curve ball and we need to find a new way of dealing with it.

  1. Mindfulness teachers are always mindful.

Most if not all mindfulness teachers came to the practice of mindfulness because they were in need of it themselves. Life is change, and change brings us new challenges. For all of us, a mindfulness practice helps us be more mindful, even during those times when life is difficult.

Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit http://www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.