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Friday, September 26, 2008

My New Song: Count The Blessings...

Count the blessings
The rainbow of life
Let's put on a smile
With Joy...

Count the blessings
The fragrance of life
Well-come, well-go
The ripples of life


Magic of life, shiny and bright

Should we be light, with the cravings of life

Magic of life, the fireflies of life

Full of wonders, never better

Count the blessings
The music of life
Melody of Journey
To survive...

Count the blessings
The sunshine of life

Goodbye i say

To the shadows of life

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Enhancing Mindful Self-Acceptance

Artwork by Rita Loyd
Article by Carson & Langer

(1) Actively observe novel distinctions. The act of observing new distinctions increases positive affect and also increases interest in the event, object, behavior, or situation (Langer & Pietrasz, 1995). Actively noticing new things in the environment (or actively noticing new aspects of things previously taken for granted) is a hallmark of mindful thinking. As active mental exploration becomes a way of life, it becomes easier to explore those aspects of self that have previously been kept hidden or avoided. Active exploration is judgment-free; as individuals continue to actively explore new aspects of self, they will enhance self-acceptance.

(2) Think of yourself as a ‘‘work in progress.’’ When one thinks of oneself in rigid immutable terms (e.g. ‘‘I am no good at math’’ or ‘‘I am not attractive’’) he or she becomes mindless and paves the way for self-fulfilling prophesy. Studies in Ellen Langer’s lab indicated that when rigid words such as ‘‘is’’ and ‘‘am’’ were replaced with ‘‘may be’’ and ‘‘could be,’’ participants responded with increased production and creativity (see Langer & Moldoveanu, 2000, for a review). Individuals can replace rigid words with possibility words in their self-narratives. The very act of replacing the certainty of convictions with the possibility that things ‘‘may be’’ true opens up the possibility that things may not be as one currently interprets them. This, in turn, creates a mindset open to personal change and acceptance.

(3) Contemplate puzzles and paradoxes.
Life is full of paradoxes. For example, individuals may both love and hate their parents or their bodies. They may at once feel victimized by—yet responsible for—an illness or a seemingly intolerable situation. Actively thinking about paradoxes increases one’s ability to tolerate ambiguity (and decreases the anxiety associated with uncertainty). Increased tolerance of ambiguity is another hallmark of mindfulness. The contemplation of paradoxes (example: the healing but destructive properties of time) allows one to accept paradox within him- or herself and leads to self-acceptance.

(4) Add humor to the situation.
Humor itself relies on mindfulness by forcing people to see a new and unexpected side to a given situation. (This is why a joke already heard and remembered, without being newly considered, is rarely funny.) When individuals notice humorous aspects of themselves or their situation, they are more likely to accept those aspects.

(5) View the situation from multiple perspectives.
When people are stuck in a rigid interpretation of their situation, they are less likely to be accepting of it. One way to become more mindful is to try to view problems from the perspective of different individuals. This may include the perspective of others involved in the situation (and, if appropriate, the humorous perspective of fictional observers, such as a dentist or a hairdresser).

(6) Consider alternative understandings of problematic aspects of yourself. How many ways can a ‘‘negative’’ aspect of self be viewed as useful? In what contexts could the problematic factor be considered beneficial? All problems can be seen as useful in some contexts. Viewing purported negative aspects of oneself or one’s life as having a silver lining may serve to increase self-acceptance. The difference between an ordeal and an adventure may be in how one looks at it.

(7) Keep a catalog of moments of joy.
The catalog can be written descriptions of joyful moments, photographs, or simply a mental file of memories that are easily accessible. Keep the catalog handy and open it often. A growing body of research indicates that an increase in positive mental state, even a mild increase such as one experiences from remembering positive events, markedly influences mental flexibility and creative problem solving (Langer, Janis, & Wolfer, 1975; also see Isen, 2000 for a review). The accumulation of moments of joy helps one to be accepting and grateful for his or her experiences.

(8) Start a ‘‘mindfulness’’ journal. Make a point to begin or end each day by writing down the significant events of the day. Look back on the events with the purpose of observing new things and new perspectives about them. Practice at mindfully viewing events and situations in retrospect will enhance the ability to mindfully experience events and situations at the time they occur. Keeping a journal also helps individuals to observe continuity and direction in their lives, enhancing self-acceptance.

Carson, S., & Langer, E. (2004). Mindful practice for clinicians and patients.
In L. Haas (Ed.), Handbook of primary care psychology (pp. 173–186).
London: Oxford.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PeaceFULL Communication

10 Things We Can Do to Contribute to Internal, Interpersonal, and Organizational Peace...

1. Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.

2. Remember that all human beings have the same needs.

3. Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.

4. When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.

5. Instead of saying what we DON'T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.

6. Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we'd like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.

7. Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone's opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.

8. Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”

9. If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what's wrong with others or ourselves.

10. Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.

-The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully.

© 2001, revised 2004 Gary Baran & CNVC
The right to freely duplicate this document is hereby granted.

Learn More about Nonviolent Communication at
www.cnvc.org and www.nonviolentcommunication.com.

Mindfulness & Mastery in the Worksplace

By Dr. Saki F. Santorelli

In addition to this ongoing clinical work, I have the opportunity to teach in a wide variety of settings in both the public and private sectors. These programs are tailored to individual, corporate, or institutional needs with an underlying emphasis on the cultivation and application of mindfulness and mastery in the workplace. Out of one such program evolved: 21 Ways to Reduce Stress During the Workday.

During a follow-up program for secretarial staff, I was moved by their struggle to practically integrate the stability and sense of connectedness that they sometimes felt during the sitting meditation practice into their daily lives while at work. In response to their struggle, "21 Ways" came into print. In developing these ways, I proceeded by simply asking myself: How do I attempt to handle ongoing stress while at work? -- actually from the time I awaken in the morning until I return home at the end of the formal workday. How do I attempt to stitch mindfulness into the cloth my daily life? What helps me to wake up when I have become intoxicated by the sheer momentum and urgency of living? For full article click on MMW

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Transplant, Cellular Memory & Reincarnation

Transplant, Cellular Memory & Reincarnation
by Dr. Larry Dossey (MD)

i carry your heart with me . . .
. . . and whatever is done
by only me is your doing . . . .
—E.E. Cummings
“i carry your heart with me”
Transplanting Memories - Video Clip

Monday, September 1, 2008

The LUCK Factor

The Luck Factor by Prof. Dr. Richard Wiseman - FREE e-book

Some strategies to increase you luck:

1. Be opened to new experiences
2. Listen to and cultivate intuition
3. Try to be calm and relax
4. Count your blessings
5. Set goals and work hard to achieve the goals
6. Learn and grow from adversities
7. Practice positive affirmation and visualization
8. Use effective problem solving skills

An article, "The Luck Factor" by the same wiseman...