7 DAYS OF MINDFULNESS-BASED MEDITATIONS – FREE

Do you ever feel that you’re burning the candle at both ends? Many of us feel this way but fail to speak up. Well, let me first say that you’re not alone. Many people feel this way- especially women. We live in a 24/7 news / event society. We wake up and check our cell phones. We go to bed right after checking our cell phones. Work never stops sending emails. Kids are kids. And, as if this wasn’t enough, there are many social and emotional challenges that all of us face daily. Our minds are racing, our hearts are pumping, and we think we can keep up on the hamster wheel until it breaks.

Don’t spin your wheels any longer. I can help you to stop burning the candle at both ends before those ends meet! Now, I wouldn’t offer you something without knowing that it could be accessible to everyone reading this post. So, as a result, I’m giving away online access to my Free (yes, free with an “F”) 7-day meditation course. It is an audio course that you can listen to and guess what- you can do this from anywhere!

Here’s the link: http://thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation

7 day 3

If you feel passed the 7-day Free course and want more information on my in-person or online full course that deals with burning the candle at both ends, you can access more information here: http://thejoyofliving.co/programs/ You’re not obligated to buy this course first or after your free 7-Day meditation course. That meditation gift truly is from me to you and goes without any pressure or obligation to seek further services.

Life can be hard. I can help you to stand still for a second and understand the true benefits of both meditation and self-awareness.

GET FREE ACCESS TO MY 7-DAY MINDFULNESS BASED MEDITATION AUDIO PROGRAM

Social Healing

It’s a big topic for this newsletter. I was inspired to write about it when I heard Angel Kyodo Williams talk about in on On Being.  She’s a Zen priest, and came by it as a gay African American. Gayness liberated her from her Baptist upbringing, and freed her to begin to take in points of view that are different from hers, suspending judgment.

She found that she had to become vulnerable if she wanted to be able to transform a potentially closed encounter to one of openness and connection. And she believes that our world is in great need of this openness.

She has great hope that there are enough of us to embrace this willingness and flexibility – embrace a willingness to not know and possibly be wrong – that the chasms that we’ve created between cultures and political sides can be breached.

The way to become open is to begin to see how much of what we believe comes from someone else.  We’ve inherited it from our culture, parents, and other influencers.  These opinions and beliefs we carry aren’t even ours. We assume them, and then absorb them, unknowingly.  Ms. Williams believes that we can learn to become aware of what we truly know and what we have picked up; that we can then chose how to respond in a new way.

And that this new way opens up the way to change and re-connection.

On Healing and Space

Social Healing

Quote of the Week
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. 
–  Helen Keller

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 .

Trigger -> Behavior -> Reward -> Repeat

trigger

Trigger. Behavior. Reward. An evolutionary mechanism within us that’s meant to help us survive.

Triggers are always about survival.  In the simplest sense, we see or feel something that scares us or is uncomfortable; we respond in some way that minimizes that feeling; we’re rewarded by feeling the opposite.  For instance, our stomach begins to rumble; we eat until it no longer rumbles; we’re rewarded by feeling full. It worked! So we repeat this mechanism for anything that makes our stomach rumble.

That’s in the beginning. Then we learn to apply that same mechanism to all kinds of things we encounter. Is it scary? Does it make us feel some kind of pain? Then do something until we feel good, or at least no longer scared.

So far so good. Then one day, a friend we counted on turns on us. We’re hurt and confused. Perhaps we feel a tightness in our belly. So, we turn to something that calmed our belly in the past – we eat a donut, perhaps.  We feel good. The pain goes away.

You and I know that eating to counter emtional pain won’t work for more than a moment. But most of us do it anyway, because it’s something we’ve built from the beginning. It isn’t logical. It’s automatic – a very well-entrenched habitual respnse, or reaction, to a particular feeling.

How can we change that reaction? The answer is to change the habit. Justin Brewer suggests mindfulness: go ahead and react, and when you react be mindful – get curious about it.  For instance, when I reach for that choclate chip cookie next time I’m anxious, I can take a moment to notice what it’s actually doing for me: the sugar high makes me dizzy, and instead of really being satisfied, I feel a craving for more. What if I take a handful of almonds?  Then I feel full fast. How about if I take some deep breaths and go for a walk? I return feeling refreshed and energized.

In other words, the more I becme aware, mindfully, to a reaction or response, I can begin to reprogram my body, and my reactions.

Worth a try!

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters read you are enough just as you are 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 .

Change

Insanity is defined, originally by AA, as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Well, if that’s the definition, then most of us are insane.  Because that’s what we do: the same thing over and over expecting – praying for – different results.  Falling in love with the same guy and expecting things will be different this time. Eating the same junk and expecting to lose 20 pounds. Having the same daily routine and expecting that life is suddenly going to get better.

When we realize this – and most of us eventually do – we know we need to change. But it’s SO HARD!, we say. I don’t have the time. I’ve never done that before. My current boyfriend won’t like it.

All of these are excuses: Do I really have time to keep screwing up? Does doing something I’ve done before that doesn’t work trump trying something I’ve never done before that might work? Does the guy who’s just like the previous one that didn’t work out have that much say?

Whatever excuse we come up with can very easily be countered.  Why? Because it isn’t what’s really going on. If you dig a little, you can get to the real reason, which is probably something like  “I’m scared” or “I don’t believe this is good for me”.

What change leaders have discovered is that anyone can change if they understand what’s going on, if they can make the change manageable, and if they believe it’s going to make a real difference.

The truth is that when we know that a change is real and good, and that we have a say in it, change happens.

Drawing on Humor for Change

Change

Quote of the Week
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
― Mahatma Gandhi

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 .

What we expect isn’t always what we get!

expectI can almost see my grandmother wagging her finger at me as she said this “What we expect isn’t always what we get”. Then she might deepen the dig by adding something like “… and what we get is exactly what we need!”.

Even though I vividly remember what she said, I get caught up – a lot – in what I expect will happen.  And what I expect is hardly ever good, but almost always worst case fears coming true.

Why?  Because, deep down, I don’t believe that I can succeed. I don’t have full confidence in myself, always believing that there’s something else I need before I’m able and ready.

It’s said that women in our culture are typically the ones who never say anything until they are so overburdened with qualifications they can barely manage to stand upright from the load of credentials on their shoulders, while men learn at an early age to “stretch” the truth and have a go. If they don’t make it, well, there’s always next time.

It is bravado with the men, and false modesty for the women.  We both know it. But I do believe it has been taught to us beginning at an early age, and it’s really hard to shake.

I’ve been really ill fr the last 2 weeks. Today I shot some videos with two people who really know and love what they’re doing.  We had a blast.  I’d prepared for it well. And yet … I worried I’d become ill again half way through.  And sure enough, I did. But I’d even prepared for that! And was able to get through it, loving every minute of the experience, even with the illness.

So, getting back to my grandmother: I expected illness and got it.  I also expected success. And that trumped illness.

One step at a time!

 

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters read you are enough just as you are 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 .

Switching up to gratitude

I’m feeling low today, battling with Menier’s and the flu. Feeling pretty sorry for myself. And scared: Meniers isn’t easy to live with.

Then I started thinking what I wanted to write about this week.  Definitely not how lousy I feel.  That doesn’t inspire me, and yes! I’m one of the people in my audience I want to inspire.

That’s when I begin to switch to gratitude – the one fail-safe place I can go to get out of feeling lousy.  It turns out that feeling grateful in a way that’s meaningful to you is the first thing to do to turn gloom into joy.

So I switch: I’m walking in fresh air; going to my home that’s safe and beautiful; seeing friends later on; spending time with my honey. I’m grateful for all the opportunities living in North America brings me, and that I often take for granted. And finally, I’m grateful that – bad as it is – the ailment I have isn’t life-threatening. And it is definitely a teacher.

Want to be happy? Be grateful

 gratitude

Quote of the week
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

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 .

Releasing the Handcuffs of Attachment

attachments

 

The father who insists his son take over the family business.  The mother who over-mothers. The boss who micro-manages.  If they don’t drive their intended victims crazy, they definitely drive all their onlookers nuts.

But, in case you think that’s somene else, recall the last time you wanted something to work out so badly – and were afraid it wouldn’t – that you found yourself “nudging” people, places and things to get to your desired effect.  If you managed to stop and take a look around you, you might’ve noticed a lot of annoyed onlookers. You know, those guys you just handcuffed to your idea of what the future should look like.

Nobody likes to be manipulated or “lead”, including us.  But worry and desire can turn us into this kind of person.

The antidote to being attached is self-awareness. Plain and simple. Becoming aware of our impact and value in any situation can bring us back to our senses and into balance and harmony with ourselves and our fellows.

I know that, for me, the times I find myself manipulating a situatin for a desired end is when I’m afraid I’ll loose something precious to me. That someone more powerful than me will somehow destroy that possibility.  When I bring this feeling in front of me and examine it, it seems pretty foolish. After all, as an adult, the only way someone else could really do that was if I had no other alternatives.  But that isn’t likely. It’s really only my fear, my insecurity and lack of awareness that lets me think so.

If you like this blog, you’ll love my newsletters read you are enough just as you are 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 .

Falling in Love

In 2015 Mandy Catron got curious. She’d been reviewing research from the 1990’s that was about intimacy between strangers. She wanted to know if what these researchers learned could be applied to falling in love with someone you don’t know.  After seeing that it actually worked, she applied it to herself and a distant friend.  And yes, they fell in love. And are still in love.

Mandy wrote an article about her experience that was published in the New York Times called How to Fall in Love With Anyone. At the time, she had her own blog with a few hundred readers, and knew this would generate more – maybe even a few thousand. What she got were more than 8 million readers from around the world.

She talks about her experience in the Ted Talk below.

Mandy re-discovered something that has been known for a very long time. I’ll mention one out of many leaders in psychology – Martin Buber – who’s main focus was exactly this.  He called it “I-thou”.
Buber gave as one example the relationship he had with his horse as a boy. He loved his horse, and every chance he could, he’d be with him. He couldn’t explain the unique attraction he felt; he only knew it was mutual, and that it was love.

Then one day while gazing lovingly into his horse’s eyes, he was startled by something. That broke his attention momentarily, and in that moment, his horse walked away.  The intimacy – the love connection – was broken. What had been an “I-thou” moment had become an “I-it” one.

Mandy and Martin each discovered how we fall in love, and passed this wonderful knowing to the rest of us.  The thing is, I suspect that every baby knows this already, and that we lose this knowing as we encounter life’s challenges.

I don’t know about you, but I have a new mission. And that is to fall in love with someone every day.

Mandy Catron – Falling in love is the easy partlove

Quote of the Week

The basic word I-You can only be spoken with one’s whole being.
The basic word I-It can never be spoken with one’s whole being. 

― Martin BuberI and Thou

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 .

 

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 .