Riding the wave

 

Almost every client I see, almost every person I know, wants to have an exciting job, and great home, 2 ½ kids, a successful marriage, manageable expenses, lots of savings, and regular holidays to exotic places. I know a few people and clients who don’t buy into this dream, but honestly, they are countable on maybe 2 hands.

What I just described is sometimes called the “American Dream”; and that dream, while it might have been attainable for most people long ago, isn’t any longer.  The truth is that my parents were closer to realizing that dream than I ever was, and I’m closer than generations following me.  What my parents discovered was that the dream was empty – because there was a hidden cost.  I was about the same age as the daughter in Mad Men, and just as in the series, many of my mother’s friends were drinking too much or in psych wards. That was the cost – society restricted the role of women in order to make jobs available for men. It’s when Women’s Liberation began, and for good reason.

Having said all this, while “having it all” may be a pipe dream, creating a life that makes you feel satisfied and happy is absolutely possible. The first thing to ask yourself, if you really want happiness, is what kind of person are you? Do you have the ambition needed to even attempt the BIG dream? Or, is that something you’ve talked yourself into, or heard so many times you simply don’t question its application to your own life. For instance, those few people I mentioned in the first paragraph? None of them want fame or fortune. They have deliberately chosen a style of life that suits them, and that lifestyle doesn’t include a lot of high-octane risk. It does include risk, but not that kind of risk. In general, they’re happy, and tend to experience joy every day.

If you’re the kind of person who does want something bigger, then it’s important that you understand the risks, and also understand clearly how equipped you are in dealing with all possible consequences. You might fail; you might go broke; you might lose it all; you may have to revamp all your thoughts and plans over and over again. Do you have the stamina to ride through those possibilities? Are you the kind of person who can deal easily with uncertainty, without stress – without driving yourself (and everyone around you) crazy in the process?

If you are, then you know the thrill of riding that wave of chaos. For many of us who’ve experienced this thrill, like most really good and worthwhile things in life, it happens infrequently.  The rest of the time is getting there – preparing, planning, creating, executing those plans, then experiencing the result … tweaking or revamping and trying again. Then moving to the next level and doing it all over.

That’s one thing to understand. The other thing to understand is that none of us get there on our own. Mostly, we rely on those steady others – those steady hearts who work well with less risk and less excitement.

Steady heart or wave rider – we need both. Which are you?

 

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 

What happens when I’m annoyed?

 

I got annoyed at a friend last week. Not all at once; it took a while to build and grow. Until she did something I’ve decided to hate: she “deliberately” took the spot I covet at a lecture, “knowing” I want that spot because I can see the projected notes and hear the lecturer (given, after all, that I’m deaf in one ear!) from that spot.

I was righteously angry – or so I thought at the time. But, after I’d cooled off, I realized I wasn’t righteous at all, but self-righteous. And I’m pretty sure she saw the build-up and kind of expected it.

That wasn’t all. For a while, any notes I sent her began with “Janice:” (made-up name), subtly letting her know how childish I thought she was (seeing later on that this was merely a projection of me onto her).

The point? What happens when I’m annoyed is that I lose perspective and maturity.

I could have chosen better if I’d caught it building up.

The agony of trying to unsubscribe

 

Quote of the Week
“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”
― Isaac Asimov

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.

What happens when I’m annoyed?

 

I got annoyed at a friend last week. Not all at once; it took a while to build and grow. Until she did something I’ve decided to hate: she “deliberately” took the spot I covet at a lecture, “knowing” I want that spot because I can see the projected notes and hear the lecturer (given, after all, that I’m deaf in one ear!) from that spot.

I was righteously angry – or so I thought at the time. But, after I’d cooled off, I realized I wasn’t righteous at all, but self-righteous. And I’m pretty sure she saw the build-up and kind of expected it.

That wasn’t all. For a while, any notes I sent her began with “Janice:” (made-up name), subtly letting her know how childish I thought she was (seeing later on that this was merely a projection of me onto her).

The point? What happens when I’m annoyed is that I lose perspective and maturity.

I could have chosen better if I’d caught it building up.

 

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 

What makes a Leader

In schools all over, it isn’t the student who is passionate about a given subject that gets chosen, but the one with the highest grade.  The reason is the high competition among students, and the perception that without a PhD, getting anywhere in the adult world won’t happen.  As a result, the incidence of cheating is way up, because integrity isn’t valued as much as high grades. Some may argue this, and yet the statistics support it.

Many students make the high grades without cheating, and there are good reasons for getting high grades and getting a PhD.  The point is that getting an A+ is a skill: learning how to write tests well, attending to what the teacher is looking for, being able to spot and fix errors in how the first 2 happened.

But that will never translate into leadership, because it’s all about discovering and doing what someone else wants. It isn’t about thinking creatively and independently; it especially isn’t about taking risks in getting something wrong.  And yet a leader is someone why does take risks, who is willing to fail in order to win the next time, and who knows that there is no way around that.

Both the A+ student and a natural leader know we can’t achieve anything truly alone. The difference between them is that the natural leader has an inner self-confidence that never sees failure as wrong.

This blog of Seth’s speaks to my soul – The transition to leadership .

What it takes to be a great leader

 

Quote of the Week

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
– John C. Maxwell

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.

What makes a Leader

In schools all over, it isn’t the student who is passionate about a given subject that gets chosen, but the one with the highest grade.  The reason is the high competition among students, and the perception that without a PhD, getting anywhere in the adult world won’t happen.  As a result, the incidence of cheating is way up, because integrity isn’t valued as much as high grades. Some may argue this, and yet the statistics support it.

Many students make the high grades without cheating, and there are good reasons for getting high grades and getting a PhD.  The point is that getting an A+ is a skill: learning how to write tests well, attending to what the teacher is looking for, being able to spot and fix errors in how the first 2 happened.

But that will never translate into leadership, because it’s all about discovering and doing what someone else wants. It isn’t about thinking creatively and independently; it especially isn’t about taking risks in getting something wrong.  And yet a leader is someone why does take risks, who is willing to fail in order to win the next time, and who knows that there is no way around that.

Both the A+ student and a natural leader know we can’t achieve anything truly alone. The difference between them is that the natural leader has an inner self-confidence that never sees failure as wrong.

This blog of Seth’s speaks to my soul – The transition to leadership .

 

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 

Worse or better?

 

I was reminded a few days ago of how we can set ourselves up for making things worse instead of better.  It was a good friend of mine who reminded me: she was upset with a mutual friend, and didn’t know how to let our friend know how upset she was. She “solved” this problem, at least temporarily, by getting a migraine, so that she couldn’t talk this issue over with our friend.

She’d made things worse for herself, instead of better: now she had a debilitating migraine and the necessary conversation was waiting for her to worry about for a while longer.

If you’ve never done this, you’re rare. Most of us find a way to sabotage ourselves, usually subconsciously or unconsciously. If something scares us enough, some of us would rather go through an elective operation than deal with that something.

If you do find yourself going to ridiculous extremes instead of facing something scary here’s three things you can do to help you through it in a better way:

Ground yourself. When I’m anxious, most of my energy is in my chest, somewhere near my throat. When I’m grounded, it’s closer to my belly button; I feel anchored to the ground beneath me. For me, I have come to know what that feels like. I call it “being landed”. Take some time when you’re in a calm space and learn what being grounded feels like for you. Then do whatever it takes to get there when you need to. Meditation, deep breathing, a long walk … whatever works for you. Being anywhere else when you need to do something scary means you’re more likely to screw up. You increase your chance of success when you approach anything difficult from a grounded place.

Get honest. Astonishingly easily, I can fool myself into thinking I am being open and above-board when I’m really not. Especially when I feel hurt. Before addressing a sensitive issue, especially with a friend, make sure you are clear about your part, and don’t begin the talk with any judgments or accusations. Be clear about the issue rather than your opinions.  For instance, if I find myself wanting to point an accusing finger at someone, I know I’m being dishonest with myself, and that, for me, holding off until I no longer feel the need to do this, is the better way.

Open your heart. We are human – you are, I am, everyone is. And as such, we are capable of making mistakes and hurting others.  Going into a confrontation with a generous heart can make the difference between increasing a problem or resolving it. This isn’t the same as being naive, or of shuttering your awareness, or of adopting a “Polyanna” overly objective attitude. I’m guilty of doing that – not wanting to believe that someone I think well of is deliberately being a nuisance – so much easier to find fault in myself. You don’t have to do this to enter a confrontation with an open heart, if you’re grounded, and honest with yourself.

Worse or better? It’s sometimes really hard to go for better. In the end, it’s always worth it.

Our dangerous obsession with perfectionism is getting worse

 

Quote of the Week 

I don’t answer. I shut my eyes and hold my breath and hope whoever it is will think I’m not here and go home.”  ― Jennifer Weiner, Who Do You Love

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.

Worse or better?

 

I was reminded a few days ago of how we can set ourselves up for making things worse instead of better.  It was a good friend of mine who reminded me: she was upset with a mutual friend, and didn’t know how to let our friend know how upset she was. She “solved” this problem, at least temporarily, by getting a migraine, so that she couldn’t talk this issue over with our friend.

She’d made things worse for herself, instead of better: now she had a debilitating migraine and the necessary conversation was waiting for her to worry about for a while longer.

If you’ve never done this, you’re rare. Most of us find a way to sabotage ourselves, usually subconsciously or unconsciously. If something scares us enough, some of us would rather go through an elective operation than deal with that something.

If you do find yourself going to ridiculous extremes instead of facing something scary here’s three things you can do to help you through it in a better way:

Ground yourself. When I’m anxious, most of my energy is in my chest, somewhere near my throat. When I’m grounded, it’s closer to my belly button; I feel anchored to the ground beneath me. For me, I have come to know what that feels like. I call it “being landed”. Take some time when you’re in a calm space and learn what being grounded feels like for you. Then do whatever it takes to get there when you need to. Meditation, deep breathing, a long walk … whatever works for you. Being anywhere else when you need to do something scary means you’re more likely to screw up. You increase your chance of success when you approach anything difficult from a grounded place.

Get honest. Astonishingly easily, I can fool myself into thinking I am being open and above-board when I’m really not. Especially when I feel hurt. Before addressing a sensitive issue, especially with a friend, make sure you are clear about your part, and don’t begin the talk with any judgments or accusations. Be clear about the issue rather than your opinions.  For instance, if I find myself wanting to point an accusing finger at someone, I know I’m being dishonest with myself, and that, for me, holding off until I no longer feel the need to do this, is the better way.

Open your heart. We are human – you are, I am, everyone is. And as such, we are capable of making mistakes and hurting others.  Going into a confrontation with a generous heart can make the difference between increasing a problem or resolving it. This isn’t the same as being naive, or of shuttering your awareness, or of adopting a “Polyanna” overly objective attitude. I’m guilty of doing that – not wanting to believe that someone I think well of is deliberately being a nuisance – so much easier to find fault in myself. You don’t have to do this to enter a confrontation with an open heart, if you’re grounded, and honest with yourself.

Worse or better? It’s sometimes really hard to go for better. In the end, it’s always worth it.

 

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 

Right now is …

 

Life is the moment we’re living right now. (Paulo Coelho)

I spend a lot of time thinking about the next thing I’m going to do. Every morning, once I have my coffee in hand, I look at my to do list for the day. Half an hour later, I’ve envisioned everything on that list, as if each thing had already happened. I remember a few days ago telling Andy (my husband) what my plans were, and it seemed, by 9am, that it was already 8pm. That I’d already lived the whole day in the first hour.

No wonder time flies for me! What would happen if I truly lived in this moment? Right now.

 

Want to be happier? Stay in the moment

 

 

Quote of the Week

“The Expulsion from Paradise is eternal in its principal aspect: this makes it irrevocable, and our living in this world inevitable, but the eternal nature of the process has the effect that not only could we remain forever in Paradise, but that we are currently there, whether we know it or not.”

― Franz Kafka, The Zürau Aphorisms

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.

Right now is …

 

Life is the moment we’re living right now. (Paulo Coelho)

I spend a lot of time thinking about the next thing I’m going to do. Every morning, once I have my coffee in hand, I look at my to do list for the day. Half an hour later, I’ve envisioned everything on that list, as if each thing had already happened. I remember a few days ago telling Andy (my husband) what my plans were, and it seemed, by 9am, that it was already 8pm. That I’d already lived the whole day in the first hour.

No wonder time flies for me! What would happen if I truly lived in this moment? Right now.

 

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 

Home is …

For years, home for me was in my books.  I have hundreds of them … my mysteries and sci-fi for pleasant and relaxing escapes, philosophy for the years I studied it and grew into another person, then psychology – that “practical philosophy” that I moved into and that is now my vocation, the spiritual books and books written by inspirational men and women (mostly women), books on mathematics and economics, practical how-to books, art books, yoga books … classics, poetry … . some books are falling apart from use, some nearly new.  All have been read and cherished.

From my 20’s onward, my book moved with me, no matter how cumbersome. I’ve sold some for almost nothing when I needed money, then bought them back for 10 times as much when I could. Books served as insulation in some of the small rooms I inhabited, lining the walls with their warmth and welcome.

Every lost book was a personal loss to me, like the loss of a friend. The time I felt the need to downsize and give away a third of my books was really difficult; I tried to find good homes for each one, as I would a cherished pet who needed a different place to thrive and grow.

Then about 6 months ago, I suddenly felt a need for space and room. For the first time, my books felt like they were limiting me, enclosing me, suffocating and isolating me.

Within a week of realizing this, I packed them up and put them all in storage!

And now? Now, I have twice the space I once had, for welcoming friends – human friends – into.

My long-term plan is to find a bigger place to live where I can happily co-exist with my books and  friends in collaborative peace. Meantime, home, to me, has become my cherished relationships, and my work.

What is home to you?

Where is home?

 

Quote of the Week 

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ― Anna Quindlen

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.