Tag Archive: mind

Peace of Mind

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”

This quote is from Jill Taylor. It’s what you might be striving for, especially if you’re beginning to unravel. It’s one of those things that’s simple in concept, a lot less simple in practice.

And it is possible.

 

I’m offering a program that is all about achieving that experience of peace every day. If you’re interested in learning more, my online workshop on Burning the Candle at Both Ends can help. It’s is starting this October. Click here if you’re interested in learning about it.

 

Been gaslighted lately?

If you don’t think so, think again. They only way you couldn’t have is if you never read the papers or listen to the news.

Gaslighting happens when someone deliberately manipulates a situation in order to make another person question themselves. That person may or may not realize what they’re doing. The impact of their action is the same regardless.  I’m witnessing it happening on the political arena increasingly, and so it’s become something we all need to understand and combat successfully.

The first thing to know is that gaslighting only works with your collaboration. That is, if you refuse to go along with it, it loses all it’s power.

My mother was a successful gaslighter. I don’t think she ever knew it. But I ended up with years of having to work through it, undo the damage it caused, and learn how to trust myself again. I used to tell people that her reality was in a perpetual altered state, which helped me retain some stability through it all. (She’s now passed, and I’m happy to say we had many good years together.)

How does a gaslighter do it (from Psychology Today)?

  • By telling a deliberate lie that you know is a lie, in order to set a tone of never knowing if what they say is true or not. This effectively keeps you, in this situation, off-balance.
  • By denying they said something you know they did say, with the effect that you begin to question yourself instead of them.  This becomes more and more the case the more it happens.
  • By using what is important to you against you, attacking the foundation of your being. For instance, the person might question your technical abilities when they know that’s meaningful to you; or your value as a mother if that’s how you’ve defined yourself.
  • By not walking their talk – saying one thing and doing another.  The key is to attend to what they do, not to what they say.
  • By occasionally praising you, so that even if you had managed to figure them out, you find yourself questioning that.
  • By aligning others against you. This may be done through gossip and deliberate misrepresentation, or simply by getting you to believe that there are others who already knew something they maintain about you.
  • By projecting what is really going on inside them that they don’t like onto you.
  • By telling others that you’re the crazy one, not them.

If you find yourself faced with this kind of situation, here’s what you can do:

  • Become aware. First, gain an understanding of what’s going on. The only way gaslighting can work is if you let it.  By understanding the dynamics, you gain clarity, which makes gaslighting unworkable.
  • Trust your own gutOne the most insidious things about the situation is the denial of your reality. And this leads to self-denial of what your body is telling you.  Therefore, it’s important to re-connect with that inner knowing, and trusting it, no matter what.
  • Be defiant. Stand your ground, and don’t give in. You won’t be thanked for it; the person gaslighting you will not acknowledge your right to do so. It’s no good doing it for recognition and visibility – that will not happen! Do it for your own well-being.
  • Develop a healthy detachment. The emotional back and forth between praise and blame can be unhinging, unless you become the observer. It’s tempting to simply disappear emotionally – and you might, but there is a cost to disappearing. Developing a healthy detachment means remaining in the space emotionally, doing so by also understanding thoroughly that what is going on is not about you, but about the other person.
  • Find some way to tell your story – so that you develop your own means of remaining visible to yourself and others.

What to do about gaslighting

Burning the Candle?

If you’re someone who feels like you’re burning up and burning out – from too much ongoing stress, from too much responsibility and too little recognition, or simply from wanting to have everything done Now!, then you might be interested in my online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!

Quote of the Week

“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.
Need more? At times we need more  - we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Opening up – where it begins

I’m at a conference this week with a lot of other therapists. Gestalt therapists. And am constantly challenged to remain open to new ideas and ways of being.  It’s exhausting only when I feel the need to close; to stop taking in, or to fight against what my mind interprets.

Being open means more than being open-hearted. It includes relaxing the mind, so that it can do what it was always meant to do. Receive.

5 ways to listen better

opening

Burning the Candle?

If you’re someone who feels like you’re burning up and burning out – from too much ongoing stress, from too much responsibility and too little recognition, or simply from wanting to have everything done Now!, then you might be interested in my online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!

Quote of the Week

The mind is like a parachute; it only works when it's open - Zappa 

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.
Need more? At times we need more  - we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

“My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!”

That quote, from Edna St. Vincent Millay, eloquently sums up the allure of going all out till we drop. It’s addictive. It gives us such an intoxicating high. And yet, if we don’t stop, it will burn us out long before we want it to.How often in your day have you found yourself running on fumes?  Going till you drop, and then going some more. I did this all the time till I couldn’t any longer; and then I had to find a different way of living that could restore the health I’d ruined and allow me to continue to live with energy and purpose.  I did find it, and I’m offering what I discovered to you in my online program Burning the Candle at Both Ends.

Whether you join me  or chose to connect with another of the many great helpers available, I can say from experience that it’s possible to take back control over your mind, your life and your happiness. It’s possible to live the life you want without burning up or burning out.Learn more about Burning the Candle at Both Ends here.Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

3-minute breathing space

Quote of the Week
Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees.
― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co

The ugliest phrase in the world – I’m Fine

I regularly watch, read and listen to a lot of videos, blog posts and audios every week, and came across one that talked about the phrase “I’m fine” (see below). I related: I have personally used it for most of my adult life.

“I’m fine”, I say when I don’t want to talk about something that clearly disturbs me. “I’m fine” when I want to push through some project and don’t want to have to explain myself. “I’m fine” when I want to be left alone to lick some wound – old or new.

This might be true for you, too.  Research indicates that only about 20% of us mean it when we say “I’m fine”; and almost 60% of us expect the answer to “How are you feeling?” as “I’m fine” to be a lie.  We all know it, and still continue to do it.

Mel Robins believes we start by lying to ourselves, because we’ve convinced ourselves we are fine not having what we want. “I’m fine. I lost my job, but it’s hard to get a decent job these days.”

Here’s the reality: we’re only really fine when we are getting what we want, and it’s up to us to make it happen.  Usually, the thing that will make that happen is a change.  Change is hard – it’s way easier to veg out in front of TV instead of finding another job, and a job that you really want. It’s way easier staying with whatever is familiar, even if it sucks, than make the change that will get you what you want.

Robins argues that among the basic needs we all have – food, water, shelter, is exploration, and that staying with what is familiar – staying in inertia – starves us of this basic need.  To get out of inertia and into exploration takes action, which is gong to be hard.

She suggests that we do one thing the next time we find ourselves drifting into inertia. She calls it the 5-second rule.  Our mind can process very quickly, and science knows that if you don’t marry an impulse with an action within 5 seconds, you will fall back into inertia.  The problem isn’t that we don’t have any ideas, but that we don’t act on them.

So today and tomorrow, do this: At lease once today and tomorrow, when you get an idea, act on it within 5 seconds. Write something down, call someone, get up instead of remaining sitting. Whatever you do, do something and turn that impulse into action. Then take a moment to see what’s different in your life.

Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.

How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over – Mel Robins

 Quote of the Week
The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up. The shortcut to closing a door is to bury yourself in the details. This is how we must look to God. As if everything’s just fine.
― Chuck Palahniuk

Announcements
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co

The Endurer

endurer

In the first part of the 20th century, Austrian Psychoanalist Wilhelm Reich developed a theory explaining how we respond both physically and emotionally to the challenges we meet in life, especially in early life.  From his studies.

Last week, I introduced you, in broad terms, to Character Structures – what they are and how they develop.  This week I’ll introduce you to the Edndurer body and character type; also known as the Masochist type.  In the diagram above, the Endurer is depicted as someone who is somewhat heavy-set with slightly rounded arms and a solid base from the waist down. While this isnt always so pronounced in this character type, it’s generally so.

Why is this body type called a Masochist, or Endurer (I will use these 2 terms interchangably)? Because the person who armors in this way does so by holding in instead of expressing their displeasure or discomfort. They hunker down, waiting out any nlslaught that comes their way. They keep their opinions to themselves – and they have a lot of their own opinions.

In fact, if this kind of person doesn’t find a way of expressing to the rest of the world what’s on their mind, it begins to eat away at them, and they grow angry.  But because they never express themselves, this anger comes out in surrepticious ways – often cruel and petty ways – like biting remarks, leaving someone waiting, not showing up.

On the positive side, Masochists are powerful thinkers and doers, often chugging along when everyone else has long since left the scene.  They are reliable. Atlas carying the world on his (or her) shoulders.

The primary challenge of the Masochist is to speak what is on their mind, without anger.  This is a challenge, because the longer something is left unsaid, the more it’s laced with anger.  Often this means learning to speak up in stages: first speaking up to a tree or to nature or in your car, letting out all the anger – no holding back.  Then speaking up to a trusted friend, with the understanding that this is to help you learn to re-empower your voice and nothing else. Finally, speaking up once more to the world, re-owning that voice that somehow got silenced.

Next week, I’ll introduce the Oral character Type.  If you find this series interesting, and want to know more, and I along with my friend and colleague Jane Mactinger will be holding a workshop on Character Structures in the near future.  Stay tuned for a date and time.

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .