Archive: Newsletter

You are enough

What makes you hesitate when someone asks you something and you already know the answer? Or gleefully accepting a long-sought-after promotion that you worked hard for? Or disagreeing publicly with someone you admire.

It might be because you feel less than; that whatever you have to offer won’t be enough for the person who asks, offers or invites you to show your shining.

But, if you really have worked hard for what you have, if you’ve applied yourself passionately and honestly, then whatever you have to offer is worth it. It’s worth hearing and acknowledging. In fact, the rest of need it, and will be worse off without it.

You are enough. As you are. In this moment.

Being who we are

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

“We have to acknowledge sometimes that this moment is enough. This place is enough. I am enough.” - Sue Monk Kidd

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.

Get out there!

I write this title in trepidation, because I’m not an “out there” kind of woman. In fact just thinking about it makes me want to go read another book.

And that’s why I’m writing about it.  I suspect I’m not alone feeling this way.

I can’t tell you the number of times well-meaning friends have tried to “encourage” me to become an extrovert – because that’s what they’re really trying to do, whether they realize it or not. Or the number of teachers who take my way of being as a personal challenge to get me to convert to something more of their liking.

I cry out in frustration You guys leave me be! This is the way I am. Period!

To no avail. They can’t seem to help themselves.  Then – finally – one of these people suggested that what was really going on was that I was closed to learning something new.  That I was “unteachable”.

OK. That’s it! The final insult. You’ve thrown down the gauntlet? I accept the challenge.

No, I’m not going to suddenly become a raging extrovert. But I am going to deliberately get out there in ways that feel right to me. Not things that feel comfortable, but right, like speaking publicly, doing facebook live, and speaking my mind face-to-face.

I wouldn’t mind some company.
 
Morgan Freedman – Courage is the key to life itself

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 greatest act of courage is to be and to own all of who you are – without apology, without excuses, without masks … “  - Debbie Ford

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.

Live Happy

A few months ago, National Geographic featured the work of Dan Buettner on what makes a person’s life satisfying.  From his travels around the world, he found 3 ways, and 3 locations that featured these 3 ways.

One is a life that’s secure and safe, where it’s easy to make a good living; the location is Singapore.

Another is an interactive life, where people mingle every day – a place that lends itself living outdoors and walking everywhere; this location is a town in Costa Rica.

The last is Northern Denmark. Here, people can freely pursue what gives their lives meaning. They don’t have to worry about health care or education. This is all provided. And therefore, they can focus on working at what they love to do. In Denmark, 80% of workers like their job (as opposed to 30% in the US).

I like the second and third options, especially the third. That’s because what I do is very important to me, and when I do what I love, I’m happy. Even without health coverage and educational opportunities, I find ways to fulfill this need of mine.

It seems to depend on what kind of person we are. There is no right answer for everyone, and I suspect there are a few more ways of living that bring certain people real happiness.

Which are you?

You can take a true happiness test – for free - at www.bluezones.com .

Where Joy hides and how to find it

happy

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

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

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.

Dream-Chasing and how to do it successfully

Have you got a dream? A big one, that your passionate about and that, deep down, you feel you might never realize?

It might be working every day on something you love. Or meaningfully contributing to a cause you’re passionate about. It might be becoming a mom or dad. Or owning your own home, mortgage-free.

Whatever it is, there’s one sure way of realizing it. Turtle steps.

That’s right! Turtle steps. Especially if it’s a big dream.

Turtle steps make it hard to procrastinate – and we are all procrastinators. You might believe that you’ve dreamed too big, that you somehow don’t deserve to realize your dream, that you’re not good enough, not disciplined enough. Not enough!

But the truth is you are enough. We are all procrastinators when we step into something new that we care about. It’s normal and natural. We want so much for the outcome to be a certain way, and there is no guarantee it will happen. So we get scared, then overwhelmed. Then we procrastinate.

That’s where turtle steps come in to save us.  This term was coined by Martha Beck after she learned to successfully teach her young son how to do what she considered to be pretty simple things.  They were – for her. But not for him.  For him, the steps were too hard, and too overwhelming. Martha learned to make the steps smaller and smaller, until her son was able to do each one easily.

We can do the same. If you need to learn about social media (like I do), and it’s foreign to you (like it is to me!), then come up with a way to learn about it in small and easy steps. So easy you hardly notice. Like creating an account one day. Then browsing for 10 minutes the next. Then asking one or 2 people you know to “friend” you and beginning a conversation with them. Every day, or once a week, adding to your knowledge, understanding, and comfort using social media. Until one day, you realize that it’s no longer a problem. Something else is – the next thing on your path towards your dream.

There’s a parable about turtle steps – you might have heard it: the story about the turtle and the hare, with the moral being slow and steady always beats fast and furious.

If you’re worried about actualizing your dream, and want to make sure you realize it, then you can’t go wrong with turtle steps.

Take it from a hare.

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Burning the Candle?

Interested? CLICK HERE!

Quote of the Week

Turtle has just one plan at a time, and every cell buys into it. -Ted Kooser

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.

Stressing out again?

I’ve encountered a few personal issues lately that could, if I let them, stress me out. Dealt successfully with one yesterday, and dealing with the other today.

In the middle of all this, I recall a client asking me how she could help herself cope with a stressful living issue that she couldn’t immediately change. I am constantly learning from my clients, and thought I’d give what we jointly came up with a try.

What stresses me most is confrontation. I don’t like having someone’s finger pointed at me; I don’t like being judged and blamed. Hate it, in fact.

My immediate reaction is anger, even rage. And I don’t like feeling rage … I want the world and everyone in it to be fair, adult, and just.

Well, put that way, I can see that my desire is pure fantasy. Not that the real world is a dark place, but people – me included – can be unfair, dishonest in ways that fool even them, and definitely judgmental.

So, following the advice of that long ago collaboration, here’s what I did:

  • I acknowledged my pain – my worry, my anger and rage – as legitimate and real.  I do this because it’s easy for me to discount my own feelings.
  • Then, I deliberately altered my perspective by taking deep and anchoring breaths, and thinking about all the good things in my life. Those good things make anything else that happens seem a lot less focal.  This exercise effectively puts things into perspective for me – and that’s a good place to be.
  • And now I have a better chance of dealing with the latest issue – even-handedly and with good perspective.

No magic wand. No clever trick. Just self-acknowledgment, making space, and upping my perspective.

Marie Forleo – Stress

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 programBURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

Registration is now open for October. Check it out!

Quote of the Week

We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.
― David Mamet, Boston Marriage
Announcement
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 into right thinking

The title of this blog came from the quote below.  I don’t know who specifically said it, other than that it’s a piece of wisdom from North American indigenous Elders.

And it’s just so darn appropriate for this day and age to take its message to heart.

You cannot think yourself into right living.

That sentence on its own is something I plan on having pasted on my bathroom mirror at eye level. Because deep down, I really do believe that I can think myself into living the way I want which, as far as I’m concerned, is “right living”. I do it all the time: whenever, for instance, I “decide” that I need to meet a self-imposed deadline that is actually impossible, then proceed to work 20-hour days trying to meet it. Or those times when I begin from a particular belief – say that this person should be trustworthy because of their position – thereby successfully blinding myself to anything they might do that contradicts my belief.

Or even more to the point, deciding that I “should” live in a certain way to be a good person, no matter what the actual circumstances are surrounding me.

You live yourself into right thinking.

What if, instead of deluding myself with my own beliefs, desires and needs, I beginwith where I’m at, and go from there?  Instead of assuming a person is trustworthy, I connect with them, get to know them, and then decide. Or see what the day has to offer, rather than on what I want it to offer, allowing me to remain open to whatever comes.

Beginning with what the day – the situation – offers, connecting with it, being open to it.
When I think of living this way, I feel a great weight being lifted.  It’s so straight-forward and uncomplicated.
It might lead to real happiness.

Want to be happier? Stay in the moment

Quote of the Week
You cannot think yourself into right living. You live yourself into right thinking.
-Native Elders (from Gloria Steinem’s autobiography My Life on the Road)

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-programsor 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 .

Our shadow as the source of our shining

Shadows are a beautiful thing. They shade us from the sun; add contrast and interest; protect our eyes from the intensity of the light.  Our own shadows are beautiful too: they show us where the sun is relative to us. They also show us the direction we’re going.

Those shadows I just talked about are real ones, but the inside shadows we carry are exactly the same: the shadows we create and inherit can protect us (for a while), can show us where the light is, and the direction we’re going.

What if, for example, you were from a strict family, where your father was the authority. That may be a cultural shadow, or one simply held within your own family.  Either way, it’s convenient if you don’t want to bear responsibility for making decisions. At least for a while, until you happen upon a situation where you – and only you – have to decide. Then, if you’ve always relied on your father to make the decision for you, you’d be in a tough place, because you wouldn’t really know what to do beyond mimicking him.

That’s an example of an inherited shadow. Here’s one of an inner shadow. Let’s say that you learned to deal with a strict father by keeping your thoughts to yourself, never really showing your feelings. This would certainly keep you out of trouble and out of the spotlight. But then as you mature and get your own life, this ingrained habit of not showing yourself means that others don’t really know you. They don’t connect with you and “see” you in any meaningful way.  You end up feeling like an outsider. And lonely.

This seems pretty grim. How could I possibly say they’re beautiful?

Well, first of all, they did keep you safe when you needed it. They served you well, in the past.

And now they are a part of you; they’re an integral part of your character. For the rest of your life. Whether you like it or not.  And as such, they can serve as beacons to show you the best way to deal with any situation.

For instance, that person who grew up in an authoritarian home and now keeps her opinions close – she’s probably a fantastic thinker and planner, because that’s how she was able to work around and through the authority she was faced with.  She’s possibly learned to hang onto an issue until she finds the solution. And in that way, she’s invaluable to others.

It’s become part of her shining.  That doesn’t mean the way she reacts isn’t a problem.  The “problem” with what she reacts to is that it’s really an automatic response to what was dangerous a long time ago, but isn’t any longer. It’s automatic. Unconscious.

But it doesn’t have to remain that way. She – all of us – can learn to develop an awareness of when we’re about to react, and use that urge as a way of understanding a situation at a much deeper level, then choosing our response based on that awareness.

In other words, it too becomes a part of our shining.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

Eckhart Tolle’s Way

Quote of the Week
We all must deal with our shadows the best we can. No one can conquer them for us. – Anna Lee Huber

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 .

 

Turning poison into medicine – honoring the reality of the moment

I create a kind of vision board for myself every year. On it is what I want to happen that year, and how it will happen according to my heart’s desires and my spiritual guides. This year, all of my focus in on creating a successful business doing what I love.  It’s a long-term goal, and I’ve been working at it for a while. That’s the vision that keeps me going daily. How I do it is different – it’s what I need to focus on daily to make that dream manifest.

And this year, that “how” is to focus on and attend to whatever is happening right now.

Herbie Hancock has a great example of this. It’s below, and is a story about how Miles Davis dealt with whatever happened to happen.

One time when he was new to Davis’ band, he made what he saw as a big mistake on the piano. Miles dealt with it by altering the key while playing, so that that “big mistake” became an opportunity for playing something fresh.

It wasn’t until years later that Herbie understood what happened: Miles hadn’t heard a “mistake”; what he heard was an event that he chose to work with. That’s all.

Herbie saw it as Miles’ ability to turn poison into medicine. By accepting what was happening as simply what was happening, Miles was able to work with it; being open to what the event had to offer. It was his own way of being in Beginners’ Mind.

For me, that wonderful story of Herbie’s taught me that there are at least 2 ways of looking at anything that happens: either as a problem or an opportunity. To see it as an opportunity, I first need to be open to that.

No judgment. Simply fresh eyes and an open heart, honoring the reality of the moment.

Herbie Hancock on Miles Davis

Quote of the Week
I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear. ― Oprah Winfrey

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 .

Know thy enemy and then, know thyself

I finally watched the Borgia series on Netflix.

One of the main characters is Cesare Borgia, eldest son of the future Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. The entire family has often been vilified. Some say this was simply part of the times – they weren’t the only family of power like this.

There are many things written about the Borgia family, and about Cesare in particular. Machiavelli based his book The Prince on him. He was seen by Machiavelli and others as a military genius.

Maybe so, but in the process, he used his position and connections to destroy other people’s lives. Lots of other people. It may have been part of the times, but that doesn’t justify his destructiveness and lack of human consideration. And, to be fair, it’s also said that his family also supported minorities who would otherwise have been wiped out.

So, it’s ironic that the writer and creator of this series, Tom Fontana, gave Cesare the lines from Sun Tsu, immortal writer of The Art Of War, that reveal the secret to winning any battle against our enemies, be they external or internal.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

So eloquently said. So easy to see. And sometimes, so hard to practice.. Especially if that enemy is within.

I have a belief that it’s only when we conquer our inner enemies that we can truly be master of our own lives. Imagine the following:

3 people. All three grew up experiencing exactly the same things (I know, highly unlikely, but I ask that you suspend your judgment in the service of considering the point I’m exploring with you).

They – all 3 at the same time and in the same place – witness an injustice against a stranger that reminds them of something that happened in their own lives. Let’s say that they witness a young child being bullied.

The first person is horrified and becomes consumed with rage, ready to wade in and pulverize the bully, knowing that it will actually make him or her feel worse after they calm down and regain some control. The second is terrified and wants only to run and hide until it’s all over, knowing they’ll feel mortified with what they see as their own moral cowardice afterwards. The third might feel repulsion and rage, but is able to consider in a split second how best to respond in order to support the child, and help the person bullying to come to terms with the situation in a better way.

Both the 1st and the 2nd person aren’t able to effectively intervene because they are blinded by their own inner war. The third has come to know herself and has – at the very least – won that particular battle.  She knows this enemy because she knows herself.

Which would you rather be?

The Nobody Sandwich – Chris Paracox

Quote of the Week
Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
― C.G. Jung

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 .

From Frustrated to Wow!

When I get an idea I love, getting started is easy, but finishing sometimes seems impossible.

I want to write a book about scapegoating. I really want to do this, and have a lot of enthusiasm around it. I began this project 2 years ago: did a lot of research and thinking, interviewing and writing. And then got overwhelmed with possibilities that began to form some months in.  After a while, I felt more frustrated than enthused, and eventually decided to give my brain a break and let it go for a while.

If you’ve gone through this kind of scenario, you might end up feeling frustrated – like me – starting to lose confidence in yourself and in the validity of your project.

In anything we endeavour, there are a number of steps we take in the process.  This isn’t arbitrary, it’s natural, and happens with everything.  In the shamanic tradition I work with, it’s called the Zero to 9 law. In Martha Beck’s paradigm, it’s called the change cycle, and there are 4 stages.  No matter what it’s called, it’s natural, necessary and unavoidable. Using Martha’s model, we end something that no longer works for us, grieving it and letting it go; that opens us to dreaming in something new, planning how we want that to happen. Those are the first 2 stages. Stage 3 is about manifesting that dream. Martha calls stage 3 the Hero’s Saga, because this is the stage where we test things out in real life, encountering problems and issues we couldn’t have imagined.

Logically, this only makes sense. Emotionally, it can be painful. It’s the hard part and needs us to keep the faith and finish instead of quit.

This stage is on my mind a lot right now because I’m going through it. For instance, I’m working at getting a designation I have wanted for a number of years, and I’m nearly there.  Then a few months ago, something happened I wasn’t prepared for and there was some fallout. My “normal” way of dealing with this would be to take the blame for everything and then try to “fix” what I actually couldn’t, leading ultimately to frustration and pain.

This time, I did something different: I looked at how I contributed and addressed that, also acknowledging those parts that worked well. And as a result, while I had moments of frustration and pain, I ended up feeling like I’d grown from the experience. I was grateful it had happened! I went from feeling frustrated to feeling Wow!

My challenge to you is this: the next time you feel frustrated about something you’ve been working on, take a short break, and see what you can do that will turn it from a painful experience that sends you into self-doubt, into a worthwhile one that truly adds to your knowing and sense of self-worth.

Now, let’s finish that book!

On Change and Healing – Martha Beck

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

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 .