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Life Choices

Don’t Take Anything Personally

We normally assume that everything people say and do to us is about us. Thus we are conditioned to take what people throw at us personally. The truth is that everything people do is about them, and not us. For example, somebody may call us ‘a stupid idiot.’ Now if we take it personally, our ego gets hurt. We feel offended. Then we try to get back at the person who made us feel bad. We might decide to give them back a dose of what they gave us, and the conflict escalates. Or we might give them proof that they are wrong by attacking their beliefs and opinions with our own. Either way, nothing fruitful comes out of this and we end up feeling miserable. We waste our time, energy and mind-power because we decided to take what someone said personally.

Each of us is living in our own mind. Each person’s life is a completely personal dream. Each person’s dream is based on their conditioning – their past karma. When we take something personally, we assume that others know what is in our dream world, which is far from the truth. Even when the situation seems to be aimed directly at us, (like when someone insults us) people are simply acting out of their own feelings, opinions and beliefs, and it has nothing to do with us.

A good illustration of this can be observed from the responses to postings on my facebook page. Even though the posting is exactly the same, different people feel differently about it. Some people may agree and give praise. Some may partly agree. And some may completely disagree and criticize the posting. If I decide to take every response personally, then I would end up totally confused each time, as there will always be contradictions between one persons response and some other person’s response to the same post.

Also, the nature of the mind is that of duality. It is so common for couples to say “I love you” and “I hate you” to each other, depending on their dominant emotion. Which of this is true? When someone is in a good mood, they might say “What a wonderful person you are”. After a few days, when they are in a bad mood, the same person might say “You are such a dickhead”.  What can we take personally?

Thus:

If someone says we are fat, we do not take it personally

If someone says we are ugly, we do not take it personally

If someone says we are brilliant, we do not take it personally

If someone says we are stupid,  we do not take it personally

If someone says we are very wonderful, we do not take it personally

Even if someone wants to kill us, we do not take it personally!

It is totally up to us whether we choose to take someone’s emotional poison and make it ours. If we know that nothing other people say or do is about us, then we are completely set free. When we don’t take things personally, the need for us to get approval from outside is completely gone. We then find that our anger, jealousy, envy and sadness are gone. We will find ourselves to be more centred, more at peace with ourselves, no matter what anyone throws at us. Life is all about Choices!

Always remember: The key is to look at your thoughts for what they really are… just thoughts. No need to act on them, fight with them or try to avoid them. Take notice and let them go, like cars passing your house!

Love & Laughter – John

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Life Choices

The Call

Once upon a time, an eagle’s egg was found by a farmer and mistaken for a chicken egg. The egg was placed with the other eggs in the incubator at the hen house.

Some weeks later that egg hatched. The baby eagle was raised as a chicken with the other chicks. Along with his chicken peers, he was taught to peck and scratch. He was made to scurry along the ground like the other chickens. He was sternly warned against flying, because chickens don’t really fly, they flutter and fall.

This eagle made a miserable chicken. He didn’t peck well. He hated scurrying because he was always feeling clumsy and falling. He was constantly hungry and irritable, because the chicken feed just couldn’t seem to satisfy him. The other chickens found him disruptive and odd.

After years of struggling to be a normal chicken, this poor eagle’s self esteem was pretty low. He hated himself. “Why am I so big, awkward and different?” he often wondered, “Why can’t I be happy like all the other chickens here?”

“Is this all there is to life?” he agonized, “Where’s the thrill? Where’s the flow?”

He began to do more and more disruptive things just to get a little hit of excitement. He was starved for action and adventure – he desperately craved in his heart that feeling of soaring – only he didn’t even know what that was – so he tried to compensate by making his own thrills around the chicken coop, causing drama and disturbances. Other chickens called him selfish, disordered and a troublemaker. The poor eagle took it all to heart, believed them and became depressed.

One day, high overhead the young eagle saw another eagle soaring in the sky. It took his breath away. For a moment he felt a surge of recognition. He felt something inside him stir. He felt more alive than he had ever felt before.

In his excitement he told his family of chickens what he saw and how he wanted to fly like that too. They scoffed at him. “Are you nuts?!” “You’re dreaming.” “Get real. Chickens don’t fly.” “You are being totally impractical.” “You can’t even cluck and scratch – and now you think you can fly someday!?” the chickens chided. “When will you grow up and join the pecking order of this chicken coop. Why can’t you be more like your peers? What’s wrong with you?!”

The young eagle was shamed and disheartened. He felt hopeless and alone as he fell to sleep at night.

Days later, to his delight, he spotted the soaring bird and this time it let out the cry of an eagle. The moment the young eagle raised by chickens heard this cry something unexpected happened. His body lurched uncontrollably – his entire being responded automatically to that eagle’s majestic cry with a powerful eagle cry of his own. He was astonished. “What just happened?!… Did that glorious sound come from me? Chickens don’t make that sound! Only eagles do… Wait… Only eagles do!”

The young eagle, finally aware of what he truly was, for the first time stretched out his wings and flew. Before he knew it he was soaring. He was no longer imprisoned by the chicken coop, because he was no longer imprisoned by the idea that he had to be a chicken. Nothing could contain him anymore.

A chicken coop can only coop up chickens; it cannot stop an eagle from soaring – especially once they hear their call.

Have you heard your call?

Maybe this is it…

Thanks to wayseernews.com for this inspirational story.

Categories
Life Choices

Faulty Thinking

These are descriptions of the common types of faulty thinking, all of which can be improved or eliminated with a Mindful practise.

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolours the entire beaker of water.
  4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  5. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
    1. Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t bother to check it out.
    2. The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  6. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your stuff-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
  8. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  9. Labelling and mislabelling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behaviour rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a bloody idiot.” Mislabelling involves describing an event with language that is highly coloured and emotionally loaded.
  10. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.
Categories
Mindfulness

How ya’ goin mate?

‘How ya’ goin mate?’ ‘Good, and you?’ ‘Not too bad’ This is a typical Australian verbal exchange when meeting and greeting. I am continually amazed how so many people are positive on the outside but actually suffering on the inside. Fear is what stops people from sharing their true feelings. Fear about what people might think, fear of being judged, fear of appearing weak, fear of being different or fear of just about anything you can think of. Fear is what keeps people ‘stuck.’ Are you ‘stuck?’

Dale Carnegie said “Fear doesn’t exist anywhere… except in the mind.” A Mindfulness practise releases those fears because you learn to accept your thoughts for what they really are… just thoughts. You learn to simply let them go… like cars passing your house. The end result is more meaningful relationships with your loved ones, your friends and work mates. When someone says ‘How ya’ goin mate’, you’ll be ‘fair dinkum’ when you say ‘Good, and you?’

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Life Choices

Are You Ready To Change Your Life?

 

10 Ways to Know For Sure

1. You’re tired.
This isn’t just a sleepy feeling when you lay down for bed at night, but an ongoing sense of tiredness throughout the day. It’s as if no matter how much sleep you actually get, your reserve energy to face the day is always low or missing.

2. You’re frustrated.
You want the feeling of unsettledness to go away so you can just “show up” and do what needs to be done. When other people don’t do their part, or prevent you from doing yours, you grow even more frustrated by the situation. You may even fail to understand why it bothers you so much.

3. You’re stressed.
Not just stressed, but over-stressed. You can be fine, doing your thing at home or work, and then something goes slightly wrong. And you find yourself going from fine to extremely stressed in an instant. This is over-stressed, when you teeter on the edge between fine and not fine.

4. You’re desperate.
You just want it to work without anything having to change. You think to yourself, “if only such and such would do this then everything would be fine.” All of your focus is placed on altering the external circumstances around you instead of the actions you could take to make things different.

5. You’re full of regret.
You have a negative internal dialogue that reminds you far too often of all the past mistakes, failures, and moments where you didn’t quite accomplish what you set out to do.

6. You’re ashamed.
You don’t want the world to really see you. You don’t challenge yourself to step out from the crowd because then they can see the failure within.

7. You’re resentful.
You just want it to be different. If only everybody else would cooperate with the plan, then the standing still plan would work. Why won’t they just do their part?

8. You’re doubtful.
Deep inside, you know that standing still isn’t the answer. You know that you have to do something, to begin listening to the whispers that well up within your heart. But you don’t think you have what it takes to change. You don’t know what the answer is for what actually needs to change.

9. You’re fearful.
You’re scared. You may fail, you may end up worse off than you are. After all, life isn’t all that bad. You’ve got good things and good people—there are happy parts. Why then are the bad parts still so overwhelming?

10. You’re looking for an escape plan.
Perhaps if you just packed up and moved to a new town. Then things would be different for you. You could start over, no one would know your past history there.

A Mindful practise can eliminate any or all of these things. The way to change your life is to change the way you think. Make an appointment today!

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ACT Mindfully

ACT Mindfully

 A = Accept your thoughts & feelings, and be present.

C = Choose a valued direction.

T = Take action!

Six Core Processes of ACT

CONNECT WITH NOW ~ Allows you to engage fully in what you are doing. ~ Enables you to ‘catch’ thoughts ‘in flight’.

OBSERVING SELF ~ A transcendent sense of self: a perspective to observe self-as-context. ~ Is a process, not a thing, an awareness of awareness itself.

ACCEPTANCE ~ Defused, open, undefended contact with the present moment. ~ Opening yourself fully to experience, as it is, not as your mind says it is.

DEFUSION ~ Noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in them. ~ Seeing thoughts as what they are, not as what they seem to be.

VALUES ~ Give life meaning and give a sense of abundance. ~ What you want to stand for in life, are different to goals.

COMMITTED ACTION ~ Overt behaviour without fear. ~ Values-guided, effective and mindful.

These are the six core processes we focus on. The six can be ‘lumped’ together into three functionalities as follows; Defusion & Acceptance are about separating from thoughts and feelings, seeing them for what they really are, making room for them, and allowing them to come and go of their own accord. In other words: “Opening up.”Connect with Now & Observing Self both involve making contact with various aspects of your here-and-now experience. In other words: “Being present.” Values & Committed Action involves what you want your life to be about and facilitating life enhancing action. In other words: “Doing what matters.” When you put it all together, you will have the ability to “Be present, open up and do what matters!”

The aim of ACT is to create a rich, full and meaningful life while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. The outcome we aim for in ACT is mindful, valued living. Learn how to ‘step back’ and detach from your thoughts, images and memories. Hopefully, after just one session, you will have the tools to start working towards a blissful life. Make an Appointment Today!

Always in Confidence – John Shearer 

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Life Choices

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things from the Purpose Fairy which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO ALWAYS BE RIGHT

There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”  Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. GIVE UP YOUR NEED FOR CONTROL

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. GIVE UP ON BLAME

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. GIVE UP YOUR SELF-DEFEATING SELF-TALK

Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.”  Eckhart Tolle

5. GIVE UP YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. GIVE UP COMPLAINING

Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. GIVE UP THE LUXURY OF CRITICISM

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO IMPRESS OTHERS

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. GIVE UP YOUR RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. GIVE UP LABELS

Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer

11. GIVE UP ON YOUR FEARS

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
  Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. GIVE UP YOUR EXCUSES

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. GIVE UP THE PAST

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. GIVE UP ATTACHMENT

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. GIVE UP LIVING YOUR LIFE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

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Mindfulness

New Approach to Life

Mindfulness is a new approach to life. Most of the time we are occupied with our own thoughts – thinking about what has happened in the past or imagining what might happen in the future. So much so that many of us live most of our lives on autopilot.  Through mindfulness we develop the capacity to become more aware of what is happening in our lives as they are unfolding. And we do this without coloring it with our judgments, fears, hopes, or fantasies. By reducing distractions, mindfulness helps us focus our attention, enabling us to directly experience what is happening right here, right now. After all, nothing ever happens in the past or in the future. “Now” is the only time where our lives unfold. The only moment when we are alive.

Research shows that mindfulness can prevent or reduce the severity of stress-related illnesses, including depression. Studies have shown its positive effects on the immune system, pain, chronic depression, sleep, and anxiety. Mindfulness also leads to increased levels of concentration, tranquility, and a general feeling of well-being.

Mindfulness techniques are powerful and easy to learn. Just one session could change your life forever!

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Mindfulness

The Practice of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has gained a lot of momentum in recent years mostly due to it’s significant practical application for mind, body, emotions and spirit. It is also a simple but powerful route to getting unstuck, putting us back into the drivers seat of our lives and allowing us to move beyond the limiting perspective of how we have seen ourselves and the world. This is achieved through observation, self-inquiry, and mindful action.

When we start a new practice, we must initially recognise that there are forces which seek to work against us. Our habitual unawareness seeks to reassert its dominance in our lives because remember- we have been living automatically and unconsciously in this way for many years. These are the moments that we often encounter deep seated emotional wounds and fears that lie unacknowledged within us. Yet, if we capture the sacredness of this opportunity for growth, we come to understand at a much deeper level, we appreciate our feelings and we are more empowered by them. Our wounds are no longer our Achille’s heel but the source of our greatest strength. Perhaps more importantly, the quality of our relationship with ourselves takes on a renewed meaning. We remember what it is like to fall in love with self again.

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness Definitions

There are many facets to mindfulness. These include; living in the present moment, engaging fully in what you are doing rather than getting caught up in your thoughts, allowing your feelings to be as they are, letting them come and go rather than trying to control them. When you observe your private experiences with openness and receptiveness, even the most painful thoughts, feelings, sensations and memories can seem less threatening or unbearable. In this way mindfulness can help you to transform your relationship with painful thoughts and feelings, in a way that reduces their impact and influence over your life. Here are some definitions of Mindfulness.

“Awareness of present experience with acceptance.”

“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.”

“Consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience, with openness, interest and receptiveness.”

“The non-judgemental observation of the ongoing stream of internal and external stimuli as they arise.”

“Bringing ones complete attention to the present experience on a moment to moment basis.”

“The defused, accepting and open contact with the present moment.”

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”