Archive: Meditation and Mindfulness

The Golden Mean – living magnanimously

 

When I thought of the subject of this blog about 2 months ago, life was a lot different. I was thinking of gaining a pound while on a diet because my eyes are bigger than my slow metabolism. Seems so trivial now.

And yet, it also turns out to be the perfect topic for today.

We’re into the second week of lock-down – voluntary lockdown which may turn into an involuntary one. The reason for forcing everyone to isolate is because too many people continue to ignore that call. Regardless of the truth of that, or of how people chose to isolate, the real point is that people’s tolerance is becoming very low as their anxiety shoots up.

I thought I was pretty calm about this most recent chaos, except that I blew up at a colleague who said something that may have normally annoyed me a little and now is intolerable. That fairly minor incident made me aware of my rising anxiety, and also helped me see that same rise in the people (virtually these days) around me.

As a result, I’ve been practicing grounding and de-stressing techniques daily – sometimes hourly.  I don’t want to become closed and callous to the suffering of those around me. I want to remain open-hearted and connected as much as possible.  With this in mind, I thought of Aristotle.

It was from Aristotle that I really learned of the Golden Mean – it’s everywhere, I know, but I learned it in my studies of Aristotle. For him (my understanding of him), it’s about being magnanimous. His Magnanimous Man was a person who practiced the Golden Mean, who lived in a balanced and open way. Not guarded, or miserly. Not foolishly either. Instead, this person is generous of spirit and moderate of action. (Lao Tsu also had something to say about this – you can read it if you subscribe to my newsletter).

The idea of that magnanimous person is something I now include in my daily meditations.

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 

.

Time Relativity

 

When I’m crazy busy, time seems to stop until I take a breath and realize the day has gone.  Or when, as happens more mornings than I’d like, going through my to do list for the day has me already at 7pm that night. Then there are a few days when I find myself free of anything “to do”, and gaze into nothingness in wonder of the possibilities.

On rare occasions, I wake up, allowing the day to unfold, being present to what enters into it. Being with what is.

Time is a kind of human construct. It’s a measure of motion. But it’s more than that … it’s also a measure of expectation, anticipation, and presence.  Its speed is relative to what we do and where we are in our minds. That may be why time isn’t a problem for kids – they have no expectations, anticipating joy or wonder around every corner, and being fully present and engaged with whatever is. It’s us grown-ups, formerly kids, who let our worries and expectations get in the way of living.

How to gain control of your free time

 

Quote of the Week 

Time is an illusion (Einstein). It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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.

Time Relativity

 

When I’m crazy busy, time seems to stop until I take a breath and realize the day has gone.  Or when, as happens more mornings than I’d like, going through my to do list for the day has me already at 7pm that night. Then there are a few days when I find myself free of anything “to do”, and gaze into nothingness in wonder of the possibilities.

On rare occasions, I wake up, allowing the day to unfold, being present to what enters into it. Being with what is.

Time is a kind of human construct. It’s a measure of motion. But it’s more than that … it’s also a measure of expectation, anticipation, and presence.  Its speed is relative to what we do and where we are in our minds. That may be why time isn’t a problem for kids – they have no expectations, anticipating joy or wonder around every corner, and being fully present and engaged with whatever is. It’s us grown-ups, formerly kids, who let our worries and expectations get in the way of living.

 

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 

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.

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?

 

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 to manipulate successfully

 

Yes, this is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek blog today. It struck me a while back that all the things some modern coaches tell us to do can be used to fool people into thinking you’re someone you’re not.  Coaching on how to win friends and influence people. Wait, isn’t that what Dale Carnegie – grand master of manipulation – taught?

The “solid” handshake, looking people straight in the eye, knowing beforehand what your audience wants and then talking to that, whether you personally believe it or not.  Standing with feet slightly apart and hands by your sides. Smiling, projecting your voice, doing something to generate energy inside you so that you exude energy and vibrancy on the outside (Tony Robins runs for at least 5 minutes before any talk to do just that).

I’m not saying that Tony Robins is a manipulator, or anyone using these techniques. What I am saying is that if those actions aren’t natural to you, then you aren’t being genuine, and while they might work on some, they won’t work on everyone. Eventually, that chicken will come home to roost; every action costs something, and the cost of not being genuine may end up being an expensive one.

A better way is to be real. Some people won’t like it, and that’s OK. Those people aren’t your people anyway. The cost of being genuine is peace of mind, and feeling great achieving whatever it is you achieved doing so.

I once gave a talk at a university and about 10 seconds before I began, I had a severe dizzy episode. It was all I could do to stay upright, and my speech showed it. Needless to say, I was never asked back and I learnt that letting everyone know what was happening might have been a better idea. More genuine.  I’ve given a lot of speeches since then, and having already experienced the worst possible scenario gives me a sense of ease that helps me be genuine. I don’t think you need to experience what I did to get there.

How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions (by the way, I like Ayn Rand)

 

 

Quote of the Week 

One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success.”  ― Paulo Freire

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 to manipulate successfully

 

Yes, this is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek blog today. It struck me a while back that all the things some modern coaches tell us to do can be used to fool people into thinking you’re someone you’re not.  Coaching on how to win friends and influence people. Wait, isn’t that what Dale Carnegie – grand master of manipulation – taught?

The “solid” handshake, looking people straight in the eye, knowing beforehand what your audience wants and then talking to that, whether you personally believe it or not.  Standing with feet slightly apart and hands by your sides. Smiling, projecting your voice, doing something to generate energy inside you so that you exude energy and vibrancy on the outside (Tony Robins runs for at least 5 minutes before any talk to do just that).

I’m not saying that Tony Robins is a manipulator, or anyone using these techniques. What I am saying is that if those actions aren’t natural to you, then you aren’t being genuine, and while they might work on some, they won’t work on everyone. Eventually, that chicken will come home to roost; every action costs something, and the cost of not being genuine may end up being an expensive one.

A better way is to be real. Some people won’t like it, and that’s OK. Those people aren’t your people anyway. The cost of being genuine is peace of mind, and feeling great achieving whatever it is you achieved doing so.

I once gave a talk at a university and about 10 seconds before I began, I had a severe dizzy episode. It was all I could do to stay upright, and my speech showed it. Needless to say, I was never asked back and I learnt that letting everyone know what was happening might have been a better idea. More genuine.  I’ve given a lot of speeches since then, and having already experienced the worst possible scenario gives me a sense of ease that helps me be genuine. I don’t think you need to experience what I did to get there.

 

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 

 

Avoiding

Hands up if you avoid experiences you think, or fear, will be difficult.  Both of my hands are up.

It may be the season – Fall is the season of change – or it may be that Mercury was in retrograde and the full moon only a day behind it – or it may simply be coincidence that I’ve noticed a lot of difficult encounters lately.  I’ve been involved in difficult encounters, and my friends have been in them too.

No matter what the wise men and women and gurus say about the growth potential of difficult encounters, I would rather not experience them. And yet, when I do, and when I hang in there, growth does happen. Then, when I look back on the event later on (sometimes much later on), it usually doesn’t seem as bad as I’d feared. Even more, I tend to remember the good things that happened around it, like deepening friendships and breaking open a personal closed door.

An article in Psychology Today, August 2019, How bad could it be?, looked at research on our tendency to avoid.  They discovered that sometimes people avoid difficult experiences because they misjudge how they will feel. For those who must impart negative information to a friend, it’s hard because they fear causing harm, or in being harmed.

Research, however, shows that the recipients of bad news don’t tend to react as negatively as we fear and anticipate. Even if a person is accurate in predicting how they will feel, they are most often out on how long it will last, and on the impact it will have on others.

What’s missing in our prediction? It may be that the experience is more than simply those moments of discomfort. That’s what I’m discovering – the personal growth, the excitement of getting through something hard, and the deepening friendships.

The gift and power of emotional courage

 

Quote of the Week 

Problem is, the bathroom pass can’t help you escape life. It’s still there when you come out. Problems and crap don’t go away hiding in the can.”
― Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

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.