Tag Archive: life

Problems and Solutions

problems

Do problems always have solutions?

Seth Godin, in a recent blog,  talked about problems. He noted that if a problem doesn’t have a solution, then it is not a problem! It may be a regrettable situation, but not a problem. Instead, it’s something you have to live with.

Some examples in my current life, and why I’m writing about it:

  • I’m holding a function on Saturday. For it, I’ve spent more time than I can count on preparations, and then even more time worrying over whether anyone would show up. As it happens, there are so many people showing up I will have to start turning people back. Is that a problem? Not really. The only “problem” is how I’m going to let people know the event is filled. Nothing else is possible at this point.
  • In that function, there will be all kinds of new experiences for some of the participants, and I want to make sure there is good support for these people. As it happens, most of those who signed up are new, and to make it a good experience for them, I need more experienced people to be there too. Is that a problem? Yes it is! And I have a solution – recruit a few more experienced people, and have additional material and support on hand.

All problems, without exception, have solutions. Isn’t that comforting to know? It is to me!

 

How frustration can make us more creative

 

Quote of the Week

Generally speaking, books don’t cause much harm. Except when you read them, that is. Then they cause all kinds of problems.”
― Pseudonymous Bosch, The Name of This Book Is Secret

 

Announcement

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.

 

Problems and Solutions

problems

Do problems always have solutions?

Seth Godin, in a recent blog,  talked about problems. He noted that if a problem doesn’t have a solution, then it is not a problem! It may be a regrettable situation, but not a problem. Instead, it’s something you have to live with.

Some examples in my current life, and why I’m writing about it:

  • I’m holding a function on Saturday. For it, I’ve spent more time than I can count on preparations, and then even more time worrying over whether anyone would show up. As it happens, there are so many people showing up I will have to start turning people back. Is that a problem? Not really. The only “problem” is how I’m going to let people know the event is filled. Nothing else is possible at this point.
  • In that function, there will be all kinds of new experiences for some of the participants, and I want to make sure there is good support for these people. As it happens, most of those who signed up are new, and to make it a good experience for them, I need more experienced people to be there too. Is that a problem? Yes it is! And I have a solution – recruit a few more experienced people, and have additional material and support on hand.

All problems, without exception, have solutions. Isn’t that comforting to know? It is to me!

 

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 .

 

Mistakes

 

Mistakes. Like …

  1. I’m experiencing a typical day in my life – rushing around, trying to get the most done in the least time. A friend calls and wants 5 minutes, but I’m panicking about getting everything done, and I put her off, telling her I’ll get back to her later. Then I don’t.
  2. One day, after a long period of research and analysis, weighing the pros and cons, I decide to buy a car. That car turns out to be a lemon.

These are examples of the 2 kinds of mistakes we tend to make. The first happens when we don’t think, or pause, or consider the consequences. It happens because we’re afraid of something – not meeting a deadline, someone’s opinion of us, for instance. The second happens in spite of our best efforts, and is probably unavoidable.

The fallout from the first one is remorse, guilt, shame – generally feeling bad about ourselves. The second one has fallout too – but it’s more about feeling a loss, and then looking at what we could do better next time.

That first kind of mistake always hurts others, including ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Mostly, it hurts those closest to us.  The second hurts too, but it doesn’t hurt others.  It’s like getting a cut or even breaking a leg.  It does damage, but it’s damage that will mend.

We can learn to avoid the first kind of mistake by first, becoming aware of how we end up making it, then making the changes that will prevent it. It takes courage to face our dark side, and self-forgiveness.

And … it’s so worth it!

 How to learn? From mistakes!

 

 

Quote of the Week

Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
― L.M. Montgomery

 

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.

Mistakes

 

Mistakes. Like …

  1. I’m experiencing a typical day in my life – rushing around, trying to get the most done in the least time. A friend calls and wants 5 minutes, but I’m panicking about getting everything done, and I put her off, telling her I’ll get back to her later. Then I don’t.
  2. One day, after a long period of research and analysis, weighing the pros and cons, I decide to buy a car. That car turns out to be a lemon.

These are examples of the 2 kinds of mistakes we tend to make. The first happens when we don’t think, or pause, or consider the consequences. It happens because we’re afraid of something – not meeting a deadline, someone’s opinion of us, for instance. The second happens in spite of our best efforts, and is probably unavoidable.

The fallout from the first one is remorse, guilt, shame – generally feeling bad about ourselves. The second one has fallout too – but it’s more about feeling a loss, and then looking at what we could do better next time.

That first kind of mistake always hurts others, including ourselves, even if we don’t know it. Mostly, it hurts those closest to us.  The second hurts too, but it doesn’t hurt others.  It’s like getting a cut or even breaking a leg.  It does damage, but it’s damage that will mend.

We can learn to avoid the first kind of mistake by first, becoming aware of how we end up making it, then making the changes that will prevent it. It takes courage to face our dark side, and self-forgiveness.

And … it’s so worth it!

 

Announcements

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Right-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 .

What to do when your plans go south

Imagine this: you plan for an event – say a workshop. You gather all the materials, secure the venue, the help and all needed resources. You practice and refine what you need to have in place.  Everyone’s committed. Sitters secured. Food ordered.

 

Everything is set. Then 24 hours before you all show up at the location, the location owner backs out.Now what? Well, whatever happens, guaranteed the result won’t be what you planned.  Those plans went south with the late venue cancellation.

 

You’ve probably experienced this first-hand.  Along with the gut-sinking disappointment and extreme need to gnash teeth and cry on a trusted friend’s shoulder.What now? Have you noticed that afterwards, looking back, it never seems as catastrophic as it did when it first happened? Life went on. All that planning and preparing that seems totally wasted in the moment ends up being put to good use in a different way. No one gets harmed beyond a minor inconvenience, and may even benefit from the change.  In fact, you might be the only one who notices.

 

And sometimes, better things happened because of how you responded to the unwanted change. To help you focus on the better possibilities of last-minute changes, here are 3 things to keep in mind for next time:

 

  1. Always expect the unexpected.  Any professional worth their salt does this; it’s what separates them from the newly trained arrival.  Anyone with training can deal with the every-day. Only a seasoned professional can deal with the unexpected last-minute surprise.
  2.  

  3. Gain perspective. Most last-minute changes aren’t really earth-shattering. Even if they are, if you’ve done what you could to prepare, in the best way you could, then that’s the only thing that is truly under your control. The rest isn’t. Gaining this perspective helps to minimize pain and re-energize you for what you can do next.
  4.  

  5. Look for the opportunity. Inside every change is a new opportunity. It might be a new learning, or a new way of doing what you were offering. Adding value and new interest. Sometimes, last-minute change highlights something that we hadn’t seen before that’s always been unnecessary. I had an aunt – fantastic cook – who always cut off the ends of a ham before baking it. Assuming this did something to enhance the flavor, I finally asked her why she did it. She thought about it and admitted she did it because he mother had.  As it happened, her Mom was there, and when asked, said it was because she only had one baking dish, and the hams were generally too big for it. So she cut them down at each end.

Life can be filled with adventure, if we let it. And adventure is always about venturing into unknown territory and learning from it. Seeing unwanted surprises as a kind of adventure can help to minimize the disappointment and get us going again soon after.

Saved by last-minute changes

Quote of the Week
Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existance. ― Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride

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 .

 

 

How to Negotiate the Peaks and Valleys of Life

Have you ever had a big setback?  If not, you will, because we all do if we’re living.  At the time, it’s painful, and it might feel devastating.  Then, a week, a month or a year later, life turns upside down; you finish a project, or win a game, or gain something you’ve been working towards. You experience that moment of being on top of the world. And it’s intoxicating!

Spencer Johnson calls these moments Peaks and Valleys, and wrote a book of that name.  Every major philosopher and spiritual leader spends most of their time guiding others through these peaks and valleys of life. Because we all have them. In fact, they’re unavoidable.

To understand this, think for a moment of the straight line. It’s what you see when a person’s heart stops.  What it represents is death. Not life. Life is change. And change is a natural process – a natural wave. Every wave movement has a peak and a valley.

This isn’t simply a metaphor. Because when you reduce anything to it’s basic form, what it is, is a form of energy. That includes us – we are, basically, energy. And whatever we do is energy. And as such, there will be high and low energy, wins and losses, trials and triumphs.

It helps me to remember this, and to also remember that we, as humans, need to try out things – sometimes several times – before we succeed in getting what we want. When I think of valleys like this, then I can see them as fertile ground – places where I have a chance to discover something new out of the ashes of something else that crashed and burned.

We rarely seek help when we’re on a peak, so here’s some tips from the world of experts for next time you find yourself in a valley.

  • Take a moment. The first thing I’m tempted to do when I have a setback is immediately move towards trying to “fix” it.  But, whenever I do this, I miss out. I miss out on feeling and acknowledging the pain of the loss, and then truly letting it go.  That means it lingers. Even though I feel like I’m making progress and not letting this setback get in my way, it actually is, because I’m dragging along the unfinished business of grieving the loss.
  • Adjust my attitude. About setbacks. If they’re natural and to be expected, that means they are actually a part of the eventual triumph. If what I strive for – what gives meaning to my life – were easy, then it wouldn’t be worth much. And the more it’s worth to me, the bigger the challenge – and the bigger the chance of experiencing a setback.  So, the real choice is: either play it safe and never challenge yourself, or take a risk and experience failure.
  • Don’t give up. It’s like learning to ride a bike. I remember learning to ride a bike. It was my great-aunt’s bike; I was around 12, and my cousin Beverley volunteered to teach me. You probably know the drill. I’d get going, then wobble and fall. Then with her insistence, I’d get back on, eventually wobble and fall. Finally, she said she’d keep her hand on the seat so I wouldn’t fall. She did, for a few seconds, then I was on my own. Soaring!

Anything worthwhile – learning a new skill, gaining recognition in your field, building a meaningful relationship – takes time, patience, tenacity, and the wisdom of hanging in there until the magic happens.

Elizabeth Gilbert  another way of receiving success and failure

Quote of the Week
Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.
-Amos Bronson Alcott

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 .

Hope is the place where joy meets struggle

This beautiful heading is a quote from Parker Palmer. When I let myself feel the impact it has on me, my heart feels lighter, and I experience a sense of hopefulness.

Let me explain. A dear friend (I’ll call her Wendy) has been struggling with a big decision – whether to move and begin again, or stay and face some old blocks that simply won’t budge.  There are big plusses and minuses either way:  If she moves, she’ll be starting all over again in an unknown area; if she stays she might end up moving or even dissolving those blocks, but miss out on other wonderful opportunities.  She’s really torn by it, especially on days when everything just isn’t working. Wrestling with this dilemma is frustrating, depressing, sometimes overwhelming.

But through all this, Wendy is hopeful she’ll work it out.  She hasn’t lost sight of why she’s in this dilemma, and what makes it all worthwhile for her. She sees it as a worthy challenge, because the only reason it’s important is because she loves what she does. It’s important to her, even in the current overwhelming situation.

Like the old cliché says, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for”.  Wendy knows this struggle is worth it, because her life and happiness is worth fighting for.

It’s not a done deal. There are risks – that’s why she’s struggling right now.  Wendy is stepping into unknown territory. Any time we step into a new and unfamiliar place, what carries us through is hope.
For Parker Palmer, hope keeps him alive and creatively engaged. For me, it keeps me moving forward, even when moving forward is painfully hard to do. It keeps Wendy in the struggle.

The one thing that Wendy was afraid of – and why she talked to me about it – was that she worried that she was fooling herself. That she was in some way not seeing the reality of the situation. She needed to talk to people she trusted to clear up any confusion and strengthen her determination, one way or the other.  Wendy said she chose who to share her dilemma with for 2 reasons: the person was honest, and the person was benevolent.

Wendy wanted the truth from her friends, not soothing platitudes. And she wanted to be with people who cared about her.

I can’t think of a better, more supportive way to make big decisions.

Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.

Morley – Women of Hope

struggle

 

Quote of the Week
When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

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

 

Thoughts to begin 2018 with

Last year at around this time I sent you some of my favorite quotes.  That was so well-received I thought I’d do it again this year.

Quotes inspire me. Whenever I’m in need of a spiritual or motivational boost, I’ll read through my library of quotes, always finding at least one that inspires me and helps me re-focus on something that lifts me. I hope these help you do the same.

Everybody needs to take some time, in some way, to quiet themselves and really listen to their heart. -Jack Kornfield

Personality … is an act of high courage flung in the face of life. -Carl Jung

The simple intention to rest, consistently applied, turns the valley of the shadow into sweet surrender. -Martha Beck

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank

The more you focus on the words that uplift you, the more you embody the ideas contained in those words. -Oprah

Best wishes to you and yours over the holidays!

Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions.  In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.

This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.

Jacqueline Novogratz – inspiring a life of immersionthoughts

Quote of the Week 

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

― Jane Goodall

 

Announcements

If you’re interested in knowing more about natural character traits, you might be interested in Discover Your Natural Character [link to https://thejoyofliving.co/events/ ]

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 .

 

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