Monthly Archive: March 2018

The trouble with wanting something so badly when you depend on others

wanting something

Have you ever wanted something so badly you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to get it?  I have. Many, many times.

I don’t mean robbing a bank or selling your body.  We all have limits, even with this. But at times I sometimes find I’m relying on others to help me out. Not in a good way!

A good way might be: doing some necessary work for what I want and getting duly compensated; or taking what I offer because they really like and want it.

A not-good way might be: doing something for me because I talked them into it and wore them down; or promised them something that wasn’t justified; or relied on some need they have to manipulate them into supporting me.

Those last examples are all co-dependent, and enmesh me and anyone who involves themselves in it. In the end, even if it works this time, I don’t feel so fantastic.

Well, I wanted something this badly a week ago, and asked somene I thought loved this sort of thing if they wanted to be a part of it.  She said she did and I got going.  But I was always uneasy: even though she said yes, my gut just didn’t believe it. What I’d done to prepare depended on her showing up, so I was stuck with it regardless.

Fortunately for me, I did something that attracted others – something new for me – because I wanted this to happen that badly. I found them.

Glory haleluyeh! I did it!

Next time, when I get that gut feeling, I’ll pay more attention to it, appreciating what I really know.

 

 

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters (read you are enough just as you are [link to https://thejoyofliving.co/everything-you-need/ to get my latest one]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up [link to www.thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation/ ] for my insider newsletter, click here [link to www.thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation/ ] .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

 

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 .

On Anxiety

Stayed up way too late last night…reading a fantasy novel.  That way, didn’t have to think about the things on my “must do” list – way too many things.  Woke only a little late…that’s good.  Having a quiet coffee and letting the day unfold in peace, if only for a short while.  Now what… I can feel my heart begin to race.  HOW AM I EVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS?!?!  Two people here in less than an hour, an offsite meeting after that, then pack up my car with stuff for a friend, then research on a new project, then clients …. and I haven’t even got to quality time with loved ones yet!!!!!!

The first thing that has to go is the list…just let it go.  Lists always mean, for me, that I’m too wound up already.  Deep breateh in, ,…..then out.  Ahhhhhhhh.  Priorities.  What is priority today?  My friends, quality time, my clients.  Forget about the rest, for now.

See how it goes.  And to begin, a short quiet walk to remind myself how lucky I am for my health, my loved ones, my opportunities, and this gorgeous day….

Martha Beck – Calm all fear

Quote of the Week
Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
― Corrie ten Boom

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 . 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 .

Feeling Needy. Yuck!

Some young children are pretty clingy.  Have you noticed?  You might have been one of them.  It could be because their Mom was sick when they were babies and couldn’t be around, so it takes them a while to trust that she will be around now.  It might be for some other reason.  The fact is that some of us are needy children. And then we work hard for the rest of our lives to change that.

Then there’s the rest of us – proud of our independence, never thinking for a moment that we’re in need of much from others. These are often the first-borns in a growing family, where Mom is just too busy to pay any attention to us. So, we learn to fend for ourselves, and take pride in this. And that’s great, as long as it isn’t another way to hide pain.

The sad truth is that all of us as adults sometimes feel needy. We may show it openly, or hide it behind a mask of solitude. It’s yucky feeling that way. I’m not talking about those times when you wanted companionship; I’m talking about those times when you felt small and abandoned.

When for instance, your best friend bails last minute on something important to you. Or when a project you’ve put your heart into fails, and everyone – all that suppoort you thought you had – dissappears.

Sometimes, you can’t help but go there in disappointment.  But you don’t have to stay there.

There is a way to deal with that yucky feeling of neediness that works every time. It’s a 3-step process that requires nothing other than you.

  1. Know when you’re feeling needy; when you’re dissappinted and sad. Igonring it will not make it go away; it will only make it go underground, resurfacing later. So, feel it and acknowlege it.
  2. Give it away. The way to do this is through empathy. If you were in your friend’s shoes, could you see why he or she might have fled?  Even if you wouldn’t do the same, it’s helpful to see how it happened.  Then, send some forgiveness his or her way, and let it go.  You might want to seal it with smudge.
  3. Turn your attention to something that feeds your spirit. A good book, a good movie, a walk in Nature, a new project or activity that has meaning to you.

This is the essence of self-respect, self-care and self-love. And it will never leave you feeling needy.

 

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters (read you are enough just as you are to get my latest one]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

 

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 .

The Perfect Balance between Pause and Perform

These days I hear and read and participate in pausing.  I learnt it in Yoga, then in Mindfulness meditation. Pausing helps me take a breath before I leap into anything. It helps me gather my resources. To gain clarity. To do whatever I do with care.

Performance is the other side. Without performance, whatever I plan on leaping into, gathering my resources for, gaining clarity of mind over, or taking care in considering, will only ever remain in the world of possibility – unless I act. Perform.

I don’t mean perform in the sense of play-acting, but in the sense of actualizing – bringing into the moment whatever it is I want to do.

Shamanism sees these two states of being as the feminine and masculine – the receptive and active.  They are said to be the two aspects of Spirit – pure possibility and the spark of creation.  Both are essential to life and growth – and to good living.
Sometimes I use them in alignment with Nature, and sometimes I use them to avoid.  For instance, when I suddenly want to clean out the closets instead of taking the time to think through a looming problem. Or when I circle around a problem for ever, deeply analyzing every possibility, never actually taking action. In both cases, I avoid dealing with what I need to deal with, and at the same time, lull myself out of acknowledging that for some reason, it scares me.

If I were, instead, to use my sudden enthusiasm for house-cleaning, or my compelling need to over-analyze as signs of avoidance – which they are – then I could turn what was once a barrier to life and joy into a tool.

So, what’s the perfect balance between pause and perform? One that provides solid grounding and the energy to act as needed. We’re in perfect balance on those days or in those moments when everything seems to flow. When there’s no resistance. Where we are open to whatever changes are needed and are able to make them. Effortlessly.

We’ve all had those moments.

Included is a video related to this topic from another perspective, and a quote that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Staying Grounded – Justin Timberlake – Separate Who You Are from What You Do

Quote of the Week
Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. ― Rumi

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 . 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 .

Judging versus accepting

judging

 

I was having coffee with a friend a few days ago. Next to us were a group of people complaining about someone they just heard. It seems they were at a conference together and this was an informal get-together to lament their wasted time. I found myself wondering how this experience could have been more fruitful for them – and myself when I do the same thing – if they had focused more on learnings and less on losses.

I’ve been on both sides of this experience – complaining about and being complained about.  On one memorable occasion, after I’d arrived to give a presentation about stress, I was just getting up to talk when I felt overwhelmingly ill. It was too late to cancel, so I went ahead and presented in a voice that was too quiet and in a manner that was too reserved.  The result was predictible: a loss of connection with the audience.

Then there’s the time when I sat fidgeting while a new presenter talked about the technical details of investing – a topic that could put me to sleep in under 5 minutes at the best of times.  At some point I stopped listening, and regained awareness only after the speaker had offered what might have been a rather brilliant suggestion for investors like me.  I missed it, because I wasn’t focused on looking for it.

Why do we do that to ourselves? Spending our valuable time not listening, not engaging, but instead complaining and whining. Judging others and ourselves. It isn’t educational: it doesn’t add to what we know and can use. It isn’t pleasant or energizing.  It depletes energy and makes us miserable. Who among us, after a session of self-flagilation, can then sit down and happily examine what happened and how we can do better next time?

Not me!  That’s when I head for the refrigerator and set about numbing out with carbs.

On the ther hand, have you really stopped to think about those times when you did learn something valuable? When you did hang around and stay with the presenter? At those times, you might have brought with you an attitude of self- and other-acceptance. Accepting that things aren’t always perfect. Accepting that there is always going to be some gem, even among the most messed-up experience.

Accepting that we are all in this life-experience together, and that more can be had from self- and other-regard than from judging and complaining.

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters [read you are enough just as you are to get my latest one]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

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 .

How to make connections that count

Do you love going to events where you don’t know anyone? Or do you dread it?  Would you rather be in a room filled with others you can bounce stuff off of, or in your own office free from the distraction of others?  If you like and need to be with others, our society calls you an extrovert; if you get energy on your own, you’re called an introvert.

Most of us, regardless of what kind of person we are, likes time with others, because we are all social animals.  It’s a basic human need.  And even if we would rather commune with plants and animals instead of other humans, we must connect to grow and thrive. And with rare exceptions, we all need some of that connection to be with our fellow humans.

But, making these connections can be hard. We may be in a brand new place with unfamiliar rules of engagement; or in a small town that tends not to welcome strangers, or in the middle of a large city where people treasure their private time and don’t especially want new friends.

It might be intimidating for you to approach new people, especially if you’ve been rebuffed a few times.  I would be! It takes a thick skin, or a strong sense of self-love – or both – to withstand this kind of apparent rejection.

I say “apparent” because it isn’t really rejection. The person who hasn’t shown interest to connecting with you isn’t necessarily judging you beyond noting that you’re new and they’re busy, or tired, or any number of things that have nothing to do with you.

It really isn’t personal! That’s the first thing to remember.

The next thing to remember is thisif you want to make meaningful connections, ones that feed your spirit, then make sure they’re meaningful to both you and the person you’re connecting with. Otherwise, at best, it’s a chore and at worst, it’s manipulative. In either case, it isn’t going to feel good to either of you, and definitely won’t nourish your spirit.

It may seem odd, but meaningful connection begins with self-connection.  How do you feel about yourself? What do you like? Dislike? Desire? What are your passions? Goals? Dreams? If you know these, then you have something to connect with others about, and a way to find those people you can meaningfully engage.

If you google the web on how to connect, you’ll pretty much get the same advice over and over: join conversations that genuinely interest you, get interested in what’s happening in the life of the person you’re talking to, be honest, courteous, and truthful.

We can now describe the physical aspects at work in our brains that make a connection meaningful to us. Tom Wujek (see the video below) identifies three mechanisms that are necessary for this to happen: image recognition, the relationship that image has to everything else that is meaningful to us in the space, and how we feel about.

Which translates as: we work best with people we want to get to know, and who’s interaction energizes us. So, the most important thing to remember when you’re wanting to connect is knowing yourself and what’s important to you.

Now I’d like to hear from you – how do you re-focus?  What item in your life helps you do that?

Included is a video related to this topic from another perspective, and a quote that I hope you will enjoy.

Tom Wujec – 3 ways the brain creates meaning

Quote of the Week
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. ― Brené Brown

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

Comparisons – Do I Measure Up?

Comparisons When I find myself comparing, I’m never in a good place.  Usually, I feel less than, miserable, a looser; and I’m subconsciously looking for external verification to justify my poor self-opinion.  Am I too fat? Too thin? Too inexperienced? Too heady? Not worldly enough? Not out-going enough?

Not enough.

When I’m comparing, I’m already miserable, and comparing will ensure that I stay that way. Since it keeps me miserable, is it ever a good thing to compare?

I don’t think so.  When I admire another’s accomplishments, I don’t find myself comparing what they’ve done to what I’ve done.  Instead, they inspire me and show me what’s possible. I’m hapy for them, and that happiness seeps into me.

Comparing, on the other hand, never feels good.

So with that in mind, here are 3 things you can do to counter comparing:

  1. Rather than compare, separating you from the other person, seek to connect with that person. Discover who they really are – what you genuinely like about them. When we get to know another person, they become real to us, and the need to compare begins to loose it’s focus and alure.
  2. Turn to gratitude. I was sitting in my living room one morning lamenting on the opportunities I’d missed. And then for no apparent reason, I asked myself how I’d feel about Maryanne’s list of complaints if I’d just arrived from India as an Untouchable woman. She’s laugh and remind me how lucky I really am. Perspective so oftem helps, and focusing on what I have instead of what I’m missing helps to provide that needed perspective.
  3. Practicer self-love. In truth, you are enough just as you are, right now. You are worthy of your own love and admiration. Gratitude inspires us to see this truth. Living the life you want depends on it.

 

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters (read you are enough just as you are to get my latest one]. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here .  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

 

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 .

Everything you need

I have a personal mesa that I meditate on every morning.  On it are objects that help me focus on what’s truly important in my life.  One of these objects is a ceramic bowl I made a few years ago.  It’s beautiful. And empty. It’s there to remind me that I have everything I need, and that it’s up to me to fill my life with what I desire.

Even though this knowing isn’t new to me, it’s something I still need to remind myself of. Every time I begin to doubt, every time I begin to lose sight of my purpose, I think of my beautiful bowl.

It’s called re-focusing. Training yourself to focus on something life-enhancing – and true – whenever you find yourself spiraling down into self-doubt and discouragement.
Just like me, you have everything you need, no matter where you are or what you’re trying to accomplish.

For instance, right now I’m challenged with figuring out how to connect with more people.  I’m a social media rookie, even though I’ve sort of been using it for a few years now. I feel I need help; that I don’t have what I need right now to deal with social media.  But that isn’t entirely true.  When I think about it, the truth is that I can discover a lot from friends who do know more than I do; with a little effort, I can get a lot of information and advice from the web. And once I work out what I can do well and what I need extra help on, I know where I can get that help.  Having everything I need doesn’t mean I have all the answers and know-how. Having everything I need means I have a working brain and the ability to sort out what’s important, what I can do myself, and what I need extra help with.

The next time you feel stuck and lost in self-doubt, try re-focusing.

  • First, stop the downward spiral. There are certain things that you likely do when you begin the descent. For me, it’s getting lost in trivial tasks (as a way of not feeling distress). Whatever it is for you, once you notice it, Stop! I literally say “Don’t go there!”. It works for me; it might work for you.
  • Next, get calm. Mindfulness meditation is designed to help you here, because it’s all about training the brain to re-focus. I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes and I breath. That’s all it takes. 5 minutes.  You may have another way that works for you. This way works for me.
  • Finally, fill that calm with that knowing that you really do have everything you need, right now. Because it’s true: telling yourself you don’t have everything you need is the lie. Put something before you that expresses this knowing. It may be an object, like my empty bowl; it may be a piece of music, a quote or poem, or even a location.  Make it something that quietly reminds you of who you really are, in all your beauty.

Now I’d like to hear from you – how do you re-focus?  What item in your life helps you do that?

Included is a video related to this topic from another perspective, and a quote that I hope you will enjoy.

Pema Chödrön – Start Where You Are

Quote of the Week
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
― Arthur Ashe

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

Empathy – Looking at Another Person’s Noise

Empathy

Mirrors. I know, deep down, that everything I react and respond to – especially other people – are mirrors into my own soul.  They always tell me something about myself. And if I’m reacting, they’re probably telling me something I’d rather not own. So I react by seeing whatever’s happening as someone else’s problem. It let’s me judge and dismiss without feeling I’m really judgng and dismissing myself.

But I am.

Some every-day examples: Feeling relieved when I see the guy 2 cars ahead of me get stopped for speeding instead of me; or feeling “caught” when I see someone stopped for speeding, wondering if that person had an urgent need to get somewhere fast, and knowing what that feels like. Getting righteously angry at a young mother yelling at her child for getting lost, instead of wondering what I’d do if my child got lost and then was found, unharmed.

When I’m busy judging others, I’m also distracting myself from seeing the connection between myself and the person I’m judging. And when I do that, I disconnect not only from that other person, but from myself. It may be temporarily soothing to project my own personally intollerable imperfection onto another, but in the long run, it leaves me stationery, forever ending up in the same muddle because I’ve never honestly addressed my own issue.

We all project. It’s one of the ways we learn, and it connects us to our world. But when we project our self-judgments, we isolate ourselves from our world. Empathy cuts through that isolation by opening us up to really seeing the other as a fellow imperfect traveler.

Seth Godin calls this the noise in his head . The monologue that can at times run constantly and loudly; criticizing, judging, comparing. Projecting our self-judgments and self-criticisms onto whoever happens to be in our line of sight.

But even at it’s loudest, it is possible to override it; to recognize it for what it is, and to use this knowing to reach out. To connect rather than to isolate. To soften to our own limitations, and see another’s with an open heart.

To look at another person’s noise and see it in ourselves.

 

If you’re interested in reading more, sign up for my weekly newsletter.

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 .