Archive: Shamanism

Living an ‘ordinary’ life

 

There is a Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

There are books written on what this might mean: A simple statement that carries loads of meaning.

It can mean that after all is said and done, the every-day things we do are still there.  It can mean that how we do every-day things is also how we do everything, big or small; and that what we encounter in life isn’t nearly as important as how we meet those things that we encounter.

It could also mean that living an every-day “ordinary” life can be just as fulfilling and worth-while as living a life filled with adventure to remote places.

Today, and for a while yet, most of us have been forced to narrow the focus of our daily lives to what’s in front of us; to what we may see as “ordinary”. If you’re used to being busy, then this might be a real hardship for you – this luxury of time you never asked for.

Chop wood, carry water – how can you make that simple task meaningful for yourself today?

Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life

Quote of the Week 

I sit there thinking about how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life.”
― Colum McCann

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.

 

Living an ‘ordinary’ life

 

There is a Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

There are books written on what this might mean: A simple statement that carries loads of meaning.

It can mean that after all is said and done, the every-day things we do are still there.  It can mean that how we do every-day things is also how we do everything, big or small; and that what we encounter in life isn’t nearly as important as how we meet those things that we encounter.

It could also mean that living an every-day “ordinary” life can be just as fulfilling and worth-while as living a life filled with adventure to remote places.

Today, and for a while yet, most of us have been forced to narrow the focus of our daily lives to what’s in front of us; to what we may see as “ordinary”. If you’re used to being busy, then this might be a real hardship for you – this luxury of time you never asked for.

Chop wood, carry water – how can you make that simple task meaningful for yourself today?

 

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 

A sense of life lived according to love

 

We have time!

We have time now that we haven’t had for a very long while. For me and many others, the necessities of daily life are reduced to a walk, a weekly grocery run, and working online. That doesn’t fill the day.

What fills the remainder of the day is up to me. It might include cleaning the house, cleaning out an over-burdened closet, fixing something on my household to-do list. It could be watching a movie on my want-to-watch list, or reading one of the many books on my shelf waiting to be read, or gardening, or writing long and thoughtful letters to friends.

The remainder of the day could be filled with all the things I love, that feed my soul, and that I usually put off because I’m too busy. It could be filled with those things, if I choose.

It might be an opportunity to rethink my priorities, about what’s really important. We all know the world is changing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How might it change for me? And how do I want to meet these changes?

This is our opportunity to address what we never had time for before.

My philosophy for a happy life

Quote of the Week 

In everyone there sleeps a sense of life lived according to love..”
― Philip Larkin

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.

 

A sense of life lived according to love

 

We have time!

We have time now that we haven’t had for a very long while. For me and many others, the necessities of daily life are reduced to a walk, a weekly grocery run, and working online. That doesn’t fill the day.

What fills the remainder of the day is up to me. It might include cleaning the house, cleaning out an over-burdened closet, fixing something on my household to-do list. It could be watching a movie on my want-to-watch list, or reading one of the many books on my shelf waiting to be read, or gardening, or writing long and thoughtful letters to friends.

The remainder of the day could be filled with all the things I love, that feed my soul, and that I usually put off because I’m too busy. It could be filled with those things, if I choose.

It might be an opportunity to rethink my priorities, about what’s really important. We all know the world is changing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. How might it change for me? And how do I want to meet these changes?

This is our opportunity to address what we never had time for before.

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 love is made … and made again

 

It’s been several months, many weeks and days, of living closely with our loved ones.  For some, too closely, which may lead to seemingly baseless arguments, and a powerful desire to be alone.

Some couples have, by being aware of this dynamic, found ways to distance themselves, only coming together at dinner time and weekends. They’ve managed to find an extra space somewhere away from their partner for that purpose – it may only be their car, or the garage.

It serves the purpose. Sometimes, though, even this isn’t enough. If you’re one of these people, a day will come when you find you are highly sensitive and allow your inner dialogue to take over, leading eventually to flare-ups and hurt feelings.

It might help to remember that this kind of thing is normal during unbalanced times, which these certainly are – I hope you can forgive yourself and move on. A teacher I know calls it “emotional shock”. Our world has been turned on its head; most of us – at least in the western world – have never experienced deprivation and personal restrictions the way we do now. I remember my parents and grandparents speaking of the 2 world wars and the great depression. I’m from the mid-west, where the centre of North America turned into a giant desert. My grandsires lived through those times. I heard the stories, and I thought I understood them.

But I didn’t understand them because I’d never experienced them … and there’s no substitute for experience. In truth the deprivation we’re currently experiencing pales in comparison to what they went through. And yet, it helps me understand much more how important it is to meet the challenges it brings us – especially with my closest relationships.

How can I continue to honor the needs of both myself and my loved ones? How can I continue to meet the restrictions placed on me with creativity and optimism? How can I meet this latest challenge and see it as a way of growing and deepening my most important relationships?

Maintaining our relationships means growing them, because otherwise they become stagnant. Open heart, willingness to forgive, and continued hope – these qualities can help us negotiate whatever comes up.

Love is made… and made again. Every time we meet what life hands us, with hope and maturity.

A better way to talk about love

 

Quote of the Week 

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K Le Guin

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.

How love is made … and made again

 

It’s been several months, many weeks and days, of living closely with our loved ones.  For some, too closely, which may lead to seemingly baseless arguments, and a powerful desire to be alone.

Some couples have, by being aware of this dynamic, found ways to distance themselves, only coming together at dinner time and weekends. They’ve managed to find an extra space somewhere away from their partner for that purpose – it may only be their car, or the garage.

It serves the purpose. Sometimes, though, even this isn’t enough. If you’re one of these people, a day will come when you find you are highly sensitive and allow your inner dialogue to take over, leading eventually to flare-ups and hurt feelings.

It might help to remember that this kind of thing is normal during unbalanced times, which these certainly are – I hope you can forgive yourself and move on. A teacher I know calls it “emotional shock”. Our world has been turned on its head; most of us – at least in the western world – have never experienced deprivation and personal restrictions the way we do now. I remember my parents and grandparents speaking of the 2 world wars and the great depression. I’m from the mid-west, where the centre of North America turned into a giant desert. My grandsires lived through those times. I heard the stories, and I thought I understood them.

But I didn’t understand them because I’d never experienced them … and there’s no substitute for experience. In truth the deprivation we’re currently experiencing pales in comparison to what they went through. And yet, it helps me understand much more how important it is to meet the challenges it brings us – especially with my closest relationships.

How can I continue to honor the needs of both myself and my loved ones? How can I continue to meet the restrictions placed on me with creativity and optimism? How can I meet this latest challenge and see it as a way of growing and deepening my most important relationships?

Maintaining our relationships means growing them, because otherwise they become stagnant. Open heart, willingness to forgive, and continued hope – these qualities can help us negotiate whatever comes up.

Love is made… and made again. Every time we meet what life hands us, with hope and maturity.

 

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 

I want to be happy

I really want to be happy! Don’t I? Then why do I find myself doing things that others want but that I don’t want? Why do I keep hurting myself doing things and reaching for goals that ceased to bring me pleasure long ago?

Do I really want to be happy? I do! But I also want fulfillment, and my mid-Western Baptist upbringing has told me all my life that there is no gain without pain. The way my brain extrapolates this is: the more pain, the greater gain.

Of course that extrapolation isn’t true. If it were true, then self-harm would be a virtue. And I don’t believe that. Yet I still find myself unconsciously expecting – and feeling satisfied with – experiencing pain for emotional and spiritual gain. It’s very true that we sometimes need to go through hard times to gain something valuable to us. Building our own business, having a baby, running a marathon. But not always. And not necessarily.

I’ve discovered that when I find myself making things more difficult than they need to be, it’s really because I’m scared that if I don’t add the pain, it will come on its own in a way that I can’t control. So in some form of magical thinking, I deliberately add the pain component – as insurance.

The key to changing that magical thinking is awareness, then changing it bit by bit, tiny step after tiny step, so that one day I wake up to a day that is effortlessly happy.

It does take time and it works.

Why we need pain to feel happiness

Quote of the Week 

The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

 

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 .

 

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 .

I want to be happy

I really want to be happy! Don’t I? Then why do I find myself doing things that others want but that I don’t want? Why do I keep hurting myself doing things and reaching for goals that ceased to bring me pleasure long ago?

Do I really want to be happy? I do! But I also want fulfillment, and my mid-Western Baptist upbringing has told me all my life that there is no gain without pain. The way my brain extrapolates this is: the more pain, the greater gain.

Of course that extrapolation isn’t true. If it were true, then self-harm would be a virtue. And I don’t believe that. Yet I still find myself unconsciously expecting – and feeling satisfied with – experiencing pain for emotional and spiritual gain. It’s very true that we sometimes need to go through hard times to gain something valuable to us. Building our own business, having a baby, running a marathon. But not always. And not necessarily.

I’ve discovered that when I find myself making things more difficult than they need to be, it’s really because I’m scared that if I don’t add the pain, it will come on its own in a way that I can’t control. So in some form of magical thinking, I deliberately add the pain component – as insurance.

The key to changing that magical thinking is awareness, then changing it bit by bit, tiny step after tiny step, so that one day I wake up to a day that is effortlessly happy.

It does take time and it works.

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 .

Nice? or Kind?

nice

 

Foreigners say that Canadians are “nice” – especially our southern neighbors. Having lived on both sides of this country, I’d say that’s truer for Eastern Canada rather than Western Canada. People are generally polite. At least in Toronto, being anything but polite is considered uncivilized.

Toronto is also a major power centre in Canada, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Being “nice” can be civilized, and often is. It can also be used for less than nice reasons: masking cruelty behind a smile, or avoiding difficult situations that really need addressing.

Kindness, on the other hand, can at times look distinctly un-nice. When a friend tries on an outfit that really doesn’t suit her, for instance, it’s kind to let her know, and ‘”nice” to lie to avoid hurt feelings (who among us hasn’t done this?). Or, giving feedback that is hard to take – and to give – that if heeded, will help that person grow.

Being nice can at times be shallow. Being kind never is.

Don’t be nice – Justin Lamb

 Quote of the Week

“’Nice’ and ‘Kind’ are 2 completely different things.” – Glennon Doyle

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 atwww.thejoyofliving.co.

Nice? or Kind?

nice

 

Foreigners say that Canadians are “nice” – especially our southern neighbors. Having lived on both sides of this country, I’d say that’s truer for Eastern Canada rather than Western Canada. People are generally polite. At least in Toronto, being anything but polite is considered uncivilized.

Toronto is also a major power centre in Canada, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Being “nice” can be civilized, and often is. It can also be used for less than nice reasons: masking cruelty behind a smile, or avoiding difficult situations that really need addressing.

Kindness, on the other hand, can at times look distinctly un-nice. When a friend tries on an outfit that really doesn’t suit her, for instance, it’s kind to let her know, and ‘”nice” to lie to avoid hurt feelings (who among us hasn’t done this?). Or, giving feedback that is hard to take – and to give – that if heeded, will help that person grow.

Being nice can at times be shallow. Being kind never is.

 

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 .