Monthly Archive: June 2020

Living an ‘ordinary’ life

 

There is a Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

There are books written on what this might mean: A simple statement that carries loads of meaning.

It can mean that after all is said and done, the every-day things we do are still there.  It can mean that how we do every-day things is also how we do everything, big or small; and that what we encounter in life isn’t nearly as important as how we meet those things that we encounter.

It could also mean that living an every-day “ordinary” life can be just as fulfilling and worth-while as living a life filled with adventure to remote places.

Today, and for a while yet, most of us have been forced to narrow the focus of our daily lives to what’s in front of us; to what we may see as “ordinary”. If you’re used to being busy, then this might be a real hardship for you – this luxury of time you never asked for.

Chop wood, carry water – how can you make that simple task meaningful for yourself today?

Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life

Quote of the Week 

I sit there thinking about how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life.”
― Colum McCann

Announcements 

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.

 

Living an ‘ordinary’ life

 

There is a Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

There are books written on what this might mean: A simple statement that carries loads of meaning.

It can mean that after all is said and done, the every-day things we do are still there.  It can mean that how we do every-day things is also how we do everything, big or small; and that what we encounter in life isn’t nearly as important as how we meet those things that we encounter.

It could also mean that living an every-day “ordinary” life can be just as fulfilling and worth-while as living a life filled with adventure to remote places.

Today, and for a while yet, most of us have been forced to narrow the focus of our daily lives to what’s in front of us; to what we may see as “ordinary”. If you’re used to being busy, then this might be a real hardship for you – this luxury of time you never asked for.

Chop wood, carry water – how can you make that simple task meaningful for yourself today?

 

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. 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

 

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 

A sense of life lived according to love

 

We have time!

We have time now that we haven’t had for a very long while. For me and many others, the necessities of daily life are reduced to a walk, a weekly grocery run, and working online. That doesn’t fill the day.

What fills the remainder of the day is up to me. It might include cleaning the house, cleaning out an over-burdened closet, fixing something on my household to-do list. It could be watching a movie on my want-to-watch list, or reading one of the many books on my shelf waiting to be read, or gardening, or writing long and thoughtful letters to friends.

The remainder of the day could be filled with all the things I love, that feed my soul, and that I usually put off because I’m too busy. It could be filled with those things, if I choose.

It might be an opportunity to rethink my priorities, about what’s really important. We all know the world is changing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How might it change for me? And how do I want to meet these changes?

This is our opportunity to address what we never had time for before.

My philosophy for a happy life

Quote of the Week 

In everyone there sleeps a sense of life lived according to love..”
― Philip Larkin

Announcements 

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.

 

A sense of life lived according to love

 

We have time!

We have time now that we haven’t had for a very long while. For me and many others, the necessities of daily life are reduced to a walk, a weekly grocery run, and working online. That doesn’t fill the day.

What fills the remainder of the day is up to me. It might include cleaning the house, cleaning out an over-burdened closet, fixing something on my household to-do list. It could be watching a movie on my want-to-watch list, or reading one of the many books on my shelf waiting to be read, or gardening, or writing long and thoughtful letters to friends.

The remainder of the day could be filled with all the things I love, that feed my soul, and that I usually put off because I’m too busy. It could be filled with those things, if I choose.

It might be an opportunity to rethink my priorities, about what’s really important. We all know the world is changing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How might it change for me? And how do I want to meet these changes?

This is our opportunity to address what we never had time for before.

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. 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

 

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 story we tell ourselves

 

I’m a worrier. That means that I have the ability to worry myself into building something small into something big in my head, and then believing it as true, or at least truer than anything else.

For instance, just as a wild example, let’s say my kitchen tap starts to leak. After changing washers, it continued to leak – not very badly, but still there. If I let myself, I could begin to wonder how bad that leak could get, and under what conditions it might cause major problems – say, something gets stuck somewhere that causes a build-up in pressure; then I decide to go away for 3 weeks, and just in that time, it blows. By the time I get home, there’s major damage.

That could happen, but it’s really very unlikely. And yet, dwelling on this worst-case scenario has turned it, in my mind, from tiny and remote, to huge and probable.

I no longer worry like that, but I know a lot of us do, especially in these uncertain times. And there’s reason for it: while I’m worrying about that tap blowing, I don’t have time to dwell on things I’d rather not think about. It keeps that busy mind of mine occupied, and in a kind of weird way, entertained.

It’s a story I tell myself.

Here’s a different story: The tap begins to leak. I fix it and it still leaks. I call the plumber, and he installs a new tap.  End of problem.

In the first story, I’m kind of helpless in the face of things happening beyond my control. In the second, I’m the one in control. I like the second story better. Less drama, though.

We are the stories we tell ourselves

 

Quote of the Week 

Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves….”
― Cheryl Strayed

Announcements 

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.

The story we tell ourselves

 

I’m a worrier. That means that I have the ability to worry myself into building something small into something big in my head, and then believing it as true, or at least truer than anything else.

For instance, just as a wild example, let’s say my kitchen tap starts to leak. After changing washers, it continued to leak – not very badly, but still there. If I let myself, I could begin to wonder how bad that leak could get, and under what conditions it might cause major problems – say, something gets stuck somewhere that causes a build-up in pressure; then I decide to go away for 3 weeks, and just in that time, it blows. By the time I get home, there’s major damage.

That could happen, but it’s really very unlikely. And yet, dwelling on this worst-case scenario has turned it, in my mind, from tiny and remote, to huge and probable.

I no longer worry like that, but I know a lot of us do, especially in these uncertain times. And there’s reason for it: while I’m worrying about that tap blowing, I don’t have time to dwell on things I’d rather not think about. It keeps that busy mind of mine occupied, and in a kind of weird way, entertained.

It’s a story I tell myself.

Here’s a different story: The tap begins to leak. I fix it and it still leaks. I call the plumber, and he installs a new tap.  End of problem.

In the first story, I’m kind of helpless in the face of things happening beyond my control. In the second, I’m the one in control. I like the second story better. Less drama, though.

 

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. 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

 

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 power of anger

 

I’m feeling anger and despair right now – and grief, finding myself tearing up throughout the day. I’ve discovered that a lot of us are feeling this, after seeing the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations by many and riots by a few all over the US.

I won’t say much here, because I strongly suspect that you are feeling the same just now. For my part, I intend to take this anger and grief and use it to propel me even more towards creating the world I want to live in – a world where color and station and sexual preference mean nothing more than an expression of individuality.

I’m white. I don’t know what it’s like to – every day – be treated with suspicion and disrespect. I’ve had a taste of it, and that was plenty. But I can stand for what I know is right and good, and add my voice and whatever power I have to create the world I long for.

What’s been with me through tears and no tears today is Louie Armstrong’s “What a beautiful day”, which I know by heart. While I can’t shake hands to express love and connection, my focus from now on – more than ever – will be to reach out, mend, and heal.

Tyler Merritt – Before you call the cops

Louie Armstrong – What a Wonderful World

Quote of the Week 

Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” – Eckhart Tolle

Announcements 

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.

The power of anger

 

I’m feeling anger and despair right now – and grief, finding myself tearing up throughout the day. I’ve discovered that a lot of us are feeling this, after seeing the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations by many and riots by a few all over the US.

I won’t say much here, because I strongly suspect that you are feeling the same just now. For my part, I intend to take this anger and grief and use it to propel me even more towards creating the world I want to live in – a world where color and station and sexual preference mean nothing more than an expression of individuality.

I’m white. I don’t know what it’s like to – every day – be treated with suspicion and disrespect. I’ve had a taste of it, and that was plenty. But I can stand for what I know is right and good, and add my voice and whatever power I have to create the world I long for.

What’s been with me through tears and no tears today is Louie Armstrong’s “What a beautiful day”, which I know by heart. While I can’t shake hands to express love and connection, my focus from now on – more than ever – will be to reach out, mend, and heal.

 

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. 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

 

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 love is made … and made again

 

It’s been several months, many weeks and days, of living closely with our loved ones.  For some, too closely, which may lead to seemingly baseless arguments, and a powerful desire to be alone.

Some couples have, by being aware of this dynamic, found ways to distance themselves, only coming together at dinner time and weekends. They’ve managed to find an extra space somewhere away from their partner for that purpose – it may only be their car, or the garage.

It serves the purpose. Sometimes, though, even this isn’t enough. If you’re one of these people, a day will come when you find you are highly sensitive and allow your inner dialogue to take over, leading eventually to flare-ups and hurt feelings.

It might help to remember that this kind of thing is normal during unbalanced times, which these certainly are – I hope you can forgive yourself and move on. A teacher I know calls it “emotional shock”. Our world has been turned on its head; most of us – at least in the western world – have never experienced deprivation and personal restrictions the way we do now. I remember my parents and grandparents speaking of the 2 world wars and the great depression. I’m from the mid-west, where the centre of North America turned into a giant desert. My grandsires lived through those times. I heard the stories, and I thought I understood them.

But I didn’t understand them because I’d never experienced them … and there’s no substitute for experience. In truth the deprivation we’re currently experiencing pales in comparison to what they went through. And yet, it helps me understand much more how important it is to meet the challenges it brings us – especially with my closest relationships.

How can I continue to honor the needs of both myself and my loved ones? How can I continue to meet the restrictions placed on me with creativity and optimism? How can I meet this latest challenge and see it as a way of growing and deepening my most important relationships?

Maintaining our relationships means growing them, because otherwise they become stagnant. Open heart, willingness to forgive, and continued hope – these qualities can help us negotiate whatever comes up.

Love is made… and made again. Every time we meet what life hands us, with hope and maturity.

A better way to talk about love

 

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K Le Guin

Announcements 

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.