Archive: Balance

Pas de deux

Pas de deux

Pas de deux. This dance of life, always between two beings. Making it possible to change and grow.

The charming image of the junior egret learning from its parent … learning, perhaps, how to show off and impress others. How to spread its wings and begin to taste freedom.

We live in a world where growth and life isn’t even possible without this dance. Even if we believe we’ve done it all ourselves, we haven’t. Each one of us have had opportunities provided by others and the world around us.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and grateful for the chance to provide that for others.

 

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Opportunities that come our way are only good if we’re ready and open for them.  This means being focused and relaxed – and happy. The opposite of relaxed focus is being anxious or burnt-out.  If you’re experiencing this, you may find my online course Burning the Candle at Both Ends worthwhile.

It’s starting now.  Click here if you’re interested in learning about it.

Grit – the key to Future success

Some fortunate people have loving and mature parents, go to great schools, and get initiated into the adult world with the support of amazing mentors.  Some – not all – of those lucky few make a terrific life for themselves and, hopefully, others.

The rest of us aren’t so fortunate. And yet, more of us end up succeeding in spite of the odds against us than anyone would expect.

But predictors of future success provide statistical odds only.  The real predictor is youYourcommitment to your own future, your self-regard, and your ability to see what’s real and possible.

Mostly though, it’s your conviction: your conviction that what you seek is possible for you to achieve, and worth staying with. In the end, it might not turn out the way you imagined, but it will happen.  That kind of stick-with-it-ness is sometimes called resilience, and sometimes called grit.

Angela Duckworth distinguishes resilience from grit (view the video below).  She’s discovered that a key predictor to future success is gritGrit is consistent effort, combined with passion, for a particular goal, that is strong enough to overcome obstacles or challenges that are in the way to the realization of that goal.

In other words, the goal has to be worthy to the person trying to achieve it. And the person trying to achieve it has to feel worthy of achieving that goal

A person with grit is in it for the long-term and knows that to achieve her goal involves a marathon, not a sprint.

So the bottom line is to hang in there, sometimes putting one foot in front of the other, and keep faith in yourself and your abilities.

The Power of Passion and Preservation

My online program begins Oct 8th, but you can still register until October 14th! It's a program for addressing stress and anxiety with plenty of support ...


Click here to register.

 

Quote of the Week

“...there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine....you've got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people....Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you're willing to stay loyal to it...it's doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.
― Angela Duckworth

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.

Crazy-Making

Imagine this: you’ve leant your best friend your cherished slow cooker; she knows how much you value it. Even so, it eventually comes back broken.  When confronted with the obvious, she either denies anything happened at her end, or swears it was already broken. If she’s really in a bad way, she might deny borrowing it altogether and that she happened to find it at her place.

Sadly, my mother was notorious for doing this. Happily, not my friends. Mom would go one step further: next time she asked to borrow something, and I said no because of what happened the time before, she would deny denying she’d done anything the first time.

It drove me crazy. Especially because I’d be like Charlie Brown with Lucy: I’d fall for it as any insane person would, believing in my heart that this time would be different.

Seth Godin calls this Kettle logic. He suggests that the person using it is really reacting emotionally instead of logically.

I can’t be sure of that, but I do know that it’s useless to try and reason with them.  Instead, what I really need to do is understand why I keep falling for it and do something about that!

You see, it is emotional on my side. And once I can come to terms with what’s going on with me, then I can deal with what’s going on with my friend.

With my Mom, I wanted her to be accountable in a way she couldn’t be. It wasn’t until I understood who she was that I was able to stop putting us both into that particular dance. You see, it wasn’t just her. It was both of us, playing out a familiar song that had, long ago, run its course.

Declaring someone else insane

It’s not your mind that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit …

Are you starting to feel you’re loosing it, that you’re alone in this. And the deeper you dig and the harder you try to get things right, it only makes things worse. Well, you aren’t alone. At least a third of us are with you.

You know you need to do something differently, and you’re on it. But the real problem isn’t what you do and don’t know – you’re pretty good at working through things intellectually.
It isn’t your brain that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit.

In my program Burning the Candle at Both Endswe go on a spiritual journey together, looking at what’s really at the heart of perfectionism and stress in your life, and discovering ways that truly help to turn it around for you.

Registration is now open for October. Register now!

 

Quote of the Week

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” ― Albert Einstein

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.

Excitement without oxygen

 

Dr. Margherita Lobb, in a recent talk on Anxiety, defined anxiety as “excitement without oxygen”.  In a visceral way, we can all relate to this: if you’ve experienced anxiety, it’s hard to breathe.  In fact, when anxious, a person either stops breathing, or begins to breath fast and shallow, filling only the upper part of their lungs.

We are excited, and we aren’t filling our lungs with oxygen.

Ms. Lobb then goes on to lay out what happens to our body when we’re in this state: when we deprive our body of oxygen, we must necessarily disconnect. This means we detach our bodies from our brains. To understand this, remember when you were last anxious and what it felt like. The rapid heart-beat, sweaty palms, shallow breathing; but also the mental preoccupation that begins to take over and spirals out of control if we let it.  This is what disconnection feels like. The mental take-over.

Knowing and understanding this is power, because this knowledge is key to reversing the effects of anxiety.

Here’s how:

  • Slow and deep: If we detach through shallow breathing, we can counter it by breathing deeply and slowly.
  • Bra-strap breathing. A “trick” I learned a few years ago and now share with my clients is to do what one client dubbed “bra-strap breathing”: imagine breathing into that area of your back where a woman’s bra strap usually sits, just below the shoulder blades; then breathe out slowly, pushing the sensation down to your belly button. If you take more time breathing out than you did breathing in, then you will also activate your parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for calming and relaxing.
  • Ground yourself… by focusing on your feet connecting with the ground beneath you. This will literally lower your centre of gravity and provide stability.

The next time you experience anxiety, try these three things – slow and deep breaths, bra strap breathing, and grounding your feet – and feel the difference.

 

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 .

Tapping The Power Within – how to turn frustration into delight

I’m travelling across the US, and right now I’m between Albequerque, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas, in a tiny motel with no amenities.  The only internet access is at the Dairy Queen beside it, and it’s too slow to be very useful. I’m trying for the second time to have a successful online meeting, but because of the lack of services, am not successful.

This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to go from motel to motel as I traveled from West to East, checking first to see if they had internet access, and do the work I needed to do every evening. Up to this point, that’s what happened. Today it isn’t.  I’m from a big city where all the access I need is at my fingertips almost everywhere. I’m not used to this!

Finding myself whining and growing frustrated – and not liking where this was going – I take a moment. When I get frustrated, everything bothers me: not enough ice in my iced tea, no decent vegetarian options in the middle of nowhere in prime cattle country (surprise?), no hot water, no lighting exactly where I want it … I can go on.

I do this for a while, until I get a reflection from the table beside me. At that table, there’s another whiner. And that wakes me up.

That’s when I decide to switch attitude – to tap that power inside me that’s always there.  Reminding myself that I chose to drive across country. I chose to risk not finding anything vegetarian in a meat-eating rural space. I knew that access would be limited. I knew there would be inconveniences.  So how can I make this time work for me and not against me?

You know, it hasn’t been all bad.  Thank the powers-that-be for Starbucks!  None here, but there were Starbucks along the way and I was able to get some work done as a result, and have a good coffee or 2.

The iced tea might not have been cold enough, but it was surprisingly good. No TV? How about a walk in the cool desert evening – something I wouldn’t have had time for otherwise.

As I begin to re-focus, my frustration fades and is replaced by calm delight.

Pemma – On Discontent

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

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” - Kurt Vonnegut

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.

Right-sizing your story

I sat listening to a friend who has gone through what he undramatically called “the worst year of his life”, and then to another friend who had slipped into a deep depression. As their stories unfolded, it seemed that, by telling their story to others who genuinely cared, it helped lift their spirits.

Then I told my story. Although my life seems blessed at the moment, and I’m feeling really good, I’d been carrying around a hurt that I’d dismissed and hidden in some back compartment for at least a year.  It wasn’t until I’d expressed it that it disappeared. I don’t know about you, but what I do when I don’t express my feelings is build them up, eventually creating an entire fantasy reality around an event that has a life of it’s own – hence, it’s ability to hang around for so long.

It could be anything: a perceived slight that I wouldn’t normally interpret that way except when I’m feeling overly sensitive for other reasons. That “slight”, fed only by these heightened sensitivities, will grow; and at some point, unless I address it, will register as something true and real, even though all it is, is my interpretation of something I left uninvestigated.

I’m not saying this is what happened with my friends. I can say it helped them to talk about it. Just as it helped me: it helped me revisit my story – to “right-size” it, bringing it back to something closer to what really happened so long ago, and disconnecting it from that moment of sensitivity.

 

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’s right in the world?

 world

Climate change, and the resulting increase of floods, fires, droughts and landslides. The damage caused by Tsunamis, eathquakes and volcanic eruptions.  The violence and unrest all over the world.  The ensuing human migration resulting from all this.

And speaking of humans, our burgeoning population explosion and the displacement of other  animal species and ecological diversity.

All of these world-wide events are scary and painful to witness for me, and probably for you as well. It’s distressing and all I want to do is do something – anything – to make a positive change.

But in all of my dwelling on what’s wrong with the world, I don’t notice all the things that are right with it.

Here are some of those things:

  • Life expancy has increased to 71 years of age worldwide
  • 90% of people under 25 around the world can read and write
  • 10% of people around the world live in extreme poverty – down from 90% 200 years ago (one reason being that jobs that used to be only in developed countries are now distributed throughout the world)
  • Even with wars, the rate of death world-wide today is ¼ of what it was before and including Viet Nam
  • 95% of us are less likely to be killed by accidents – like plane or car crashes.

I got these things from Steven Pinker’s book Enlgightenment Now: The case for reason, science, humanism and progress.

It doesn’t mean we aren’t in trouble and there’s nothing to do. What it does mean, for me, is that I can genuinely buoy myself with good news, and approach efforts of bettering what I see is wrong and harmful with more balance.

 

Announcements

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

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.

You have impact!

impact

You’re feeling  crappy – not so crappy that you have to go to bed, but just off.  You’ve been working all day. You’re tired. You just want to go home and hide in a book.  But, you’ve made plans. You promised to be at your friend’s inauguration – or birthday party, or opening.

Then you find yourself in self-talk. It goes something like: “You know, there are thousands of people who are going to be there. Who am I anyway?. She won’t miss me.”

So you stay home.  Next week when you see her, she seems distant. She says she understands but you can see in her face and gestures that she’s hurt.

What does that tell you? You have more impact than you ever imagined.

You count! Just like your friend does.

 

Announcements

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

Overwhelmed?

Overwhelmed

Every once in a while – every time I get wound up with something I really want to get done – at some point, I end up in a place of overwhelm.  At some point, I’ll find myself standing staring at nothing, wanting to drop it all and run away.

If you’ve ever felt that way, then you know the feeling. I don’t run away. Not any more. Because I’ve learned how to deal with it.

If you’re looking for ways in your own life to deal with that feeling of being overwhelmed, here’s one thing you can do: close your eyes – wherever you are – take 3 really deep and slow breaths, then ask yourself “What’s the most important ONE thing I need to do?”

Then do it, and only it.

If what you’re thinking is too big and complex to get done easily, then make it smaller until it’s simple and doable in less than an hour.

Seriously, if you do this one thing, that sense of overwhelm will either disappear completely or become very small.

Try it!

 

If you’re interested in learning more, my online workshop on Burning the Candle at Both Ends can help. It’s starting this October. Click here if you’re interested in learning about it.