Why Being Mindful Matters

Quite an easy task, right? Wrong!

Our minds are processing external information, internal responses and dialogue; all the while trying to balance our brain chemistry and alert levels. So becoming more conscious about letting go of This thought, then the next, and on and on requires dedication.

Start with 5 minutes several times a day. Tune into one of your senses to quickly get into the Now moment. For instance, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Or I can close my eyes and focus on sound. If I can’t close my eyes (like while I’m driving), I can focus on color.

But don’t forget why. Why does it matter to be, quote: mindful? — To quiet the mind, to de-escalate and get to a more authentic relationship with our selves.

Counseling TidBits

For an answer, go to the place where there is no thought and listen.
Who cares if you are enlightened forever? Can you get it in this moment, now?  ~ Byron Katie

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29 Signs You’re Doing Just Fine (even if it doesn’t feel like it)

Worth reading – from Off the Web!

Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to keep things in perspective and deal with them.

We all have days, weeks, months and – for some – even years of feeling anxious and uncertain.It’s a vague feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. From the outside, people think you have it all together, but they can’t see what’s going on in your head. Emptiness fills your thoughts and emotions all too often, nagging at you throughout the day. You set goals but they never satisfy your ego. You always feel a day late and a buck short. The search can seem almost endless.

And a question continues to spin in your mind: “Why can’t I just be happy?”

The good news is you don’t have to live like this. There is a better way to view the world that will lead to what you seek. The first step, though, is to stop searching. You will never find happiness by continually looking for it in another time and place. When you focus on the lack of something in your life, what you want will always elude you.

Angel and I often tell our coaching clients they’re doing so much better than they give themselves credit for. Most of us are so busy trying to make something big happen, we forget to pause and appreciate all our little victories.

Rather than dwelling on what’s missing in your life, start looking at what you have. This isn’t just about material possessions; it’s about all the goodness in your life. When you focus on the abundance you already have, the negative feelings that come from lacking something else gradually fade from your conscious. Living isn’t an easy thing to do, but it can be enjoyable when you start to see the good instead of focusing on the bad.

Having trouble seeing the goodness? Here’s a list of things you have to smile about – some obvious signs you’re doing just fine in life:

1) You have the freedom to live your life the way you want to live it. – If you often worry about what you’re going to do with your life – your career, your family, the next step, etc., be grateful. All details aside, this means you have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make your own decisions.

2) You are courageously walking your own path. – When people argue with you and challenge your decisions, remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if some people disagree.

3) You are making difficult decisions and acting upon them. – How well you play the game of life comes down to the sum of your choices. You know this. Whatever you decide, don’t be the chess piece, be the chess player.

4) You are working hard for people and causes you believe in. – Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something you love is called passion.

5) You are choosing to be happy in your own way. – When you stop chasing everyone else’s definition of happiness, you begin to see that the decision to be happy has been available all along.

6) You see obstacles in front of you because you are not settling. – If you settle for just anything, there wouldn’t be any obstacles in your way, but then you would never know what you are capable of either. Because your obstacles are your opportunities. Obstacles are put in your way to help you determine if what you want is really worth fighting for.

7) You have made the best of some tough situations. – Smiling doesn’t always mean you’re happy with everything. Sometimes it just means you’re strong enough to accept it and make the best of it.

8) You have come a long way. – Do not judge your failed attempts and mistakes as an indication of your future potential, but as part of your growth process. Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it and use the knowledge you’ve gained. Don’t let it haunt you and hold you back.

9) You haven’t quit and you aren’t planning on it. – People rarely quit over the last thing that happened. Instead they quit a tiny bit each day. Trying to fix the last thing misses the point. Keep this in mind.

10) You do your best to accept what you can’t change. – Moving on is never an easy thing, but if you start accepting things for what they are it’ll be a lot easier. Acceptance is always the key to moving forward and making positive changes that are within your control.

11) You aren’t scared to fail forward. – The biggest difference between wildly successful people and total failures is that successful people fail more often, instead of just once.

12) You haven’t let fear get in your way. – You have to wonder how many people are afraid to die, in part, because they often realize too late that they were afraid to live.

13) You still believe in the possibilities that lie ahead. – Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Remember, life does not have to be anywhere near perfect to be wonderful.

14) You dare to dream every day. – Dr. King gave the famous “I have a dream” speech not the “I have a plan” speech. It’s our dreams that change the course of history, not just our plans. Keep dreaming.

15) You have a vision for your future. – “Vision” is the ability to talk about your future with such clarity, it’s as if you are talking about your past.


16) You haven’t let the judgments of others stop you. – Keep listening to your intuition, and make this your lifelong motto: “I respectfully do not care.” Say it to anyone who passes judgment on something you strongly believe in.

17) You are doing what you can with what you have. – The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams, right now, to any degree that you already can.

18) You are doing your best to provide value. – No one is entitled to success. To remain successful, you must constantly find new ways to add value. Keep putting your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is one of the great secrets of lasting success.

19) You go out of your way to help people. – Service is not doing what is required of us. Service is doing more than is required of us. Remember, successful people are always looking for ways to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?”

20) You aren’t scared to express your love, openly. – Love is great when spoken, but greatest when shown. So if you care about someone’s wellbeing, show it. Keep doing little things daily to show the people around you that you care.

21) You continue to make a difference. – Have you ever thought about how much your actions mean to others? Maybe that smile you gave to a stranger today made their bad day better. Maybe that hello you gave to a colleague today made them realize people actually notice them and care. Maybe that money you gave to a homeless man today gave him hope. Maybe spending time with someone special today made them forget their problems for a while. Keep it up.

22) You have enough right now to live comfortably. – You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You awoke this morning with a roof over your head. You had a choice of what clothes to wear. You have access to clean drinking water and electricity. You are online right now. You have plenty to be comfortable. Being wealthy is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more.

23) You haven’t let rampant materialism get the best of you. – Our lives are not defined by the things we possess. Our lives are defined by the things we pursue. Make sure what you own, never owns you.

24) You are reasonably healthy. – In other words, if you got sick today you could recover. Never underestimate the gift of your health. It’s the greatest wealth you will ever own. It’s the foundation for every chance at happiness and success life has to offer. Your body is the only place you will truly ever live.

25) Your relationships are less dramatic than they use to be. – Keep forgoing the drama and ignoring the negativity. Don’t let ignorance stop you from being the best you can be. Just keep doing what you’re doing – being sincere and kind, and promoting what you love, rather than bashing what you hate.

26) You have escaped from some very toxic relationships. – Don’t worry too much about people who don’t worry about you. Know your worth! When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.

27) You know deep down that you are not alone. – Next time you feel all alone, remember, again, that you are not.

28) You have great people in your life who are standing beside you. – Know that it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. And remember, it’s during the toughest times of your life that you’ll get to see the true colors of the people who say they care about you. Don’t take these people for granted. Look around and appreciate them, right now.

29) You have a home. – A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul. But a home isn’t always a physical structure, or a specific location on a map. Home is wherever the people you love are, whenever you’re with them. It’s not a defined place, but a space in your heart and mind that builds upon itself like little bricks being stacked to create something stable that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.

Recognizing these little victories in your life on a daily basis can take you from a mindset of wishing you had more, to a mindset of joyful appreciation.

Source: 29 Signs You’re Doing Just Fine (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It)

What would you add to the list? 

What’s something positive about you and your life situation that you often overlook? 

Which of these signs resonate with you? 

Which ones did you forget about until now? 

Please leave a comment below.

 

Other Posts

Do You suffer from Decision-Fatigue?

Worth Reading from Off the Web!

Decision-fatigue refers to the fact that our ability to make decisions throughout the day diminishes without proper recharging. 

When asking life’s biggest questions, we are often overwhelmed by smaller decisions and things that might not have registered on our radar in the past. Or conversely, we’re so bogged down by small day-to-day decisions that we don’t have the space to ask bigger questions about what we really want and what next steps would resonate most.

To refresh your mind, I recommend:

  • Don’t ask the same giant questions every day (ie: Should I quit my job?). Give yourself a period of time where you don’t have to decide at all, perhaps while you’re researching options. Revisit the decision at specific intervals of your choosing, but not on a daily monkey-mind basis.
  • Schedule as many daily routines as possible. Like morning routines, scheduling exercise for the same recurring days/times, evening wind down rituals. What recharges you? The more you can create routines around these things, the less you will find yourself debating what to do throughout the day (gobbling up precious mental bandwidth).
  • Write your questions down.
  • Go with your gut! We actually do know the answer to more than we think – on decisions large and small. If you find yourself debating unproductively, ask: what does my gut say?

originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Jenny Blake, Author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/14135802

Letting Go Of the Past to Appreciate the Present

Suffering doesn’t make us grow –

but what we do with our feelings could make us grow. ⚡️💡

dreamstime_m_43975880

It’s an interesting saying though. Where did it come from?  Perhaps it’s because anguish and acute awareness sometimes occur near one another, in time and space.

For me, however, what makes us grow is understanding our feelings, questioning the thoughts behind them, seeing the cause-and-effect of it all, and mindfully letting go.

If we utilize this information the next time these feelings arise (anger, sadness, depression, confusion, fear), we can remember the awareness, the ‘aha’ moment, or insight we discovered before. We can  notice that what we are experiencing in the here and now is separate from the past, and know that our reactions don’t really apply in the current situation. Awareness sets us free to respond differently.

contemplation

Uncomfortable feelings are nearly always preceded by a stressful thought, and when the feelings come, we can isolate the stressful thought, idea, or assumption and question it thoroughly.

I find journaling a powerful aid here. Just write your rambling thoughts about a situation that made you uncomfortable (in your mind or in reality – doesn’t matter). Then let it set. You probably will already feel better because the act of writing is cathartic. But for true growth to occur, go back later and read what you wrote. Pretend you are a scientist!  Your job is to (compassionately) dissect your writing to find the threads of connection…

Try asking these questions:

1. Have I ever felt this way before? Are there any other similarities?

Personal example:   I had to  go to my son’s junior high school to deliver his medicine.   I noticed I had a racing heart, a sense of urgency to complete the task, and an overall sense of shame and dread.

It made no sense in my logical mind.

 Have I ever felt this way before? Are there any other similarities? 

Junior high was very scary for me. I was picked on by other girls and I was even beaten up a number of times. The threats often occurred when students were moving from one class to their next, so I was especially scared when that bell rang!

2.  What were the beliefs / thoughts around the event? 

Awareness: my heart is racing; I have a sense of urgency and intense fear.

THOUGHTS:  I Visualize being attacked. “If I can become unnoticeable, I might make it… Hopefully the bell won’t ring!”

Once we gently meet our past with understanding, we can separate those experiences and respond to the present authentically.

By listening, compassionately, to your own mistaken, innocent mind, you can become free… from this,  then that,  then…

The Best Personality Test Ever — The MBTI

“We all come in different shapes and SIZES. We have our STRENGTHS and weaknesses.

What’s right for one person may not be right for someone else…
There are things that are important to one person that others don’t care about at all.

And sometimes other’s behaviors don’t make any sense to me.

Because we want to understand each other, and communicate well (since we live in the same world), we can’t expect others to want the same things that we want.
We are not the same person, so we will not always see things the same way.

We all have our own thoughts and ideas that may or may not fit into other people’s vision of who we should be.

By learning more about our own Personality, and about other Personality Types, we can improve our interpersonal relationships, adjust our expectations concerning others, and get a better self-understanding that will help us define and achieve our goals.”     (PleaseUnderstandMe.DavidKeirsey.AmazonBooks)

 

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Theory of Psychological Types was described by Carl Jung in the 1920’s. He theorized that much of the seemingly random variations in peoples behaviors are actually rather systematic and reliable. These basic differences can be viewed as the ways an individual prefers to:

  •  Perceive reality (all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, events, or ideas), and then
  • Evaluate those perceptions (all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived). Jung also talks of
  • Direction of Consciousness, or the basic direction in which a person’s conscious interests and energies may flow – either inward to subjective psychological experience, or outward to the environment of objects, other people and collective norms.

Isabel Briggs Myers studied Jung’s ideas and added her own insights. After 30 years of research and over 5,000 participants, she created a survey that would eventually become the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (MBTI by Isabel Myers). It is the most widely used measure of Psychological Types.

Personality typing is a tool that is particularly helpful in personal growth: Understanding ourselves in a semi-objective way leads to heightened self-esteem.

It’s also a way to understand others: If people differ in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.

Learning about our Personality Type helps us to understand why certain areas in life come easily to us and others are more of a struggle. Learning about other people’s Personality Types help us to understand the most effective way to communicate with them.

This self-report questionnaire assesses “type preferences” on Extraversion-Introversion (E-I), Sensation-Intuition (S-N), Thinking-Feeling (T-F), and Judgment-Perception (J-P).

According to the MBTI, we all have a primary mode of operating within four categories:

  • The flow of energy– (I or E?) defines how you receive the essential part of your experience. Do you receive it from within yourself (Introverted) or from external sources (Extraverted)?
  • How you take in information (S or N?) shows your preference for focusing on 1) the basic information taken in through the five senses (Sensing), or by 2) interpreting and adding meaning (iNtuition).
  • How you prefer to make judgment calls (T or F?) objectively, using logic and consistency (Thinking), or subjectively, considering other people and special circumstances (Feeling).
  • The basic day-to-day decision-style that you prefer (J or P?) how you interact with the outer world — with a preference towards getting things decided (Judging), or for staying open to new information and options (Perception).
  • I’ve searched high and low and found these great online tools. The first link is to a good adaptation of the original test (Copyright infringements prohibit the availability of the real one):

     

    16Personalities- Get to Know Yourself – the BEST questionnaire on the web.

     

    After completing the test above, go HERE (The BEST MBTI Profiles ) to read detailed descriptions of your unique profile.

     

     

     

     

    We Are the Witnesses of the Magnificent

    CounselingTidBite.com

    Through OUR eyes, the Universe perceives itself. Through our ears, the Universe can hear its harmonies. By being a witness, the Universe becomes conscious! Through our perception of Life‘s magnificence, we see the glory of all created; we experience the awesomeness of the creator. ~ Alan Watts ~  Inspiring words from a great master.

    I can’t help but think that such a meditation as this, Alan Watts’s words, could cure loneliness. By broadening our perspective of what life is all about we come to know, on a very deep and real level, that everything, everyone is connected.

    Instead of noticing our differences, we can choose to focus on all we have in common.

     

    5 Ways To Transform ANGER into Something Good

    “And God said, “Love your enemy,” and I obeyed him and loved myself.”

    ~ Khalil Gibran

    We all get angry from time to time. Even the most enlightened of us would be lying if they said they didn’t. Anger is often a natural response to horrific situations. For example: the on

    ly moral response to innocent people getting bombed, whether by military action or terrorist action, is anger.

    The question is this: is your anger controlling you (lizard brain), or are you controlling it (evolved mind)? Are you merely a puppet to the emotion of your anger, or are you able to turn the tables and become the puppeteer? Are you a victim of your emotions or a hero with emotional intelligence?

    Most of us act the way we feel. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. We do have a choice. With enough discipline we can feel the way we act. For example: we can “feel” afraid but “act” courageously. Similarly, we can “feel” road rage but “act” calmly. With enough practice we can eventually feel the way we act, even in response to something as extreme as terrorism.

     Through such emotional alchemy, transforming anger into a higher emotion really is a choice. The key (as with the following five ways) is practice, discipline, and making emotional intelligence a habit. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

    1) Transform anger into strength

    “In almost every bad situation, there is the possibility of a transformation by which the undesirable may be changed into the desirable.” ~ Nyanaponika Thera

    Anger can give you profound strength: in mind, body, and soul. It’s your responsibility to focus your anger enough to harness this strength. Focused anger becomes sacred anger. But this first requires honoring the anger for what it is, and for where it stems.

    We too often suppress our anger, or avoid it, or pretend we’re not mad. But such suppression festers and all too often leads to a blowup farther down the road. In order to avoid such a blowup it behooves you to put your anger into focus. Put it under the microscope of your emotional intelligence. Analyze it. There is passion in anger. And where there is passion, there is love. And where there is love, there is strength.

    So when it comes to anger, choose furious dancing over uncomfortable depression, or even comfortable suppression. Negotiate with your anger in order to transform the passion at its center into strength. Embrace it. Accept it. Wrestle with it, gently. Dance with the fire. Then waltz it into something worthwhile. If it burns you up, rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

    Life is too short to live it second-guessing your passion. Be fierce. Dance furiously despite the anger that seeks to burn you. There’s almost always strength hidden there. Like Deepak Chopra said, “The secrets of alchemy exist to transform mortals from a state of suffering and ignorance to a state of enlightenment and bliss.”

    2) Transform anger into exercise

    “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~ Mark Twain

    That passion at the center of anger can also be transformed into powerful energy: Qi, Prana, Pneuma, Mana. Use it in the park, in the arena, in the field of play. Twain said anger is an acid? So be it. Transform that acid into fuel. Use that fuel for the fire of becoming a better version of yourself. Use it in your kung fu. Use it in the gym. Use it playing sports. Burn it out of you so that it doesn’t burn you out. Whatever you do, don’t keep the acid of your anger bottled up. You are a sacred vessel and acid erodes even sacred vessels. Put it in your vessel’s fuel tank instead, and then burn baby burn! Spar with it. Shadow-box it out. Better yet – shadow-box with your inner shadow. Now that is some meta-catharsis, right there.

    3) Transform anger into art

    Again, the key to alchemizing anger, is harnessing the passion at its center. This most definitely applies to transforming anger into art. Anybody who has ever read poetry by Sylvia Plath or writings by Friedrich Nietzsche can attest to that.

    If you gaze upon Picasso’s Guernica and tell me he didn’t paint that with a focused rage against the ignorance of war. Or take Banksy’s political art charged with righteous anger against tyrannical oppression. Transforming anger into art is a kind of rage enlightenment: a self-actualized creativity discovered through the channeling of anger into a heightened state of awareness, where rage becomes a fire that cooks things rather than burns them. With just the right amount of focus, at just the right temperature, the passion at the center of anger can, and often does, get turned into some amazing art. And there’s absolutely no reason why you cannot do the same. Forget talent. Forget genius or giftedness or skill. So what if others can do it better? Nobody even has to see it.

    Create art with all of your passion. Channel your deepest anger into art, and watch in amazement as it alchemizes into soulful poetry.
    Like Nietzsche powerfully said,

    “Of all writings I love only that which is written with blood. Write with blood: and you will discover that blood is spirit.”

    4) Transform anger into civil disobedience

    “Love does not imply pacifism.” ~ Derrick Jensen

    Use your focused anger like a surgeon’s scalpel slicing open the Achilles Heel of the violent and immoral system that has been propped up over you without your consideration. Use your focused anger like Jesus flogging bankers in the New Testament. Jesus saw an immoral system unfolding before him, so he dug deep, tapped into his righteous anger, and practiced civil disobedience despite the orthodoxy of the time. There’s no reason why you cannot do the same. As Howard Zinn said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.” Deep, focused anger can be a boon of sacred energy if we learn to use it wisely and courageously. This kind of sacred anger lifts us up and compels us to empower the powerless despite the powers that be, or to inspire the poor despite the overindulgences of the  rich. The type of focused anger that would rather live a life of uncomfortable freedom than a life of comfortable slavery. Such anger is sacred precisely because it instills in us an unstoppable courage. The kind of courage that declares to the overreaching powers that be, “I will not stand idly by while you decide who lives and who dies. I am unstoppable; another world is possible. And I will do everything in my power to build it, whether you approve of it or not.”

    5) Transform anger into a good sense of humor

     The best way to achieve an emotional state flexible enough to be able to use anger as a transformative tool is to practice and to cultivate a good sense of humor. A good sense of humor flips all scripts. It transforms “the jokes on me” into “so what, it’s funny.” Powerful stuff.

    In fact, a good sense of humor is so powerful that it is the only thing more powerful than power itself. I mean, a good sense of humor is immune to power constructs. It subsumes them. It transcends power precisely because it is able to laugh at power and not take things too seriously. A good sense of humor takes nothing too seriously, especially not power. And when the passion at the heart of anger is effectively transformed into a good sense of humor, the person cultivating it is truly a force to be reckoned with. No power in existence can stand in the way of a person with a good sense of humor. No authority. No king. No queen. No government. No army. No God. Not even death, because a good sense of humor laughs it all away.

    It’s all water off a ducks back, and you’re the duck! Such sacred laughter puts all things into proper perspective. It’s all an illusion. It’s all a game. But, and here’s the rub, it’s a sacred illusion. It’s a sacred game. And you are the infinite player interdependently playing it all out. The cosmic joke becomes self-actualized. You’re no longer the butt-end, nor will you ever be again, for you have attained the almighty rank of The One Who Laughs.

    Like Alan Watts said,

    “Life is a matter of oscillation. Life is vibration. The question is:

    How are you going to interpret that? Is it tremble, tremble, tremble;

    Or is it laugh, laugh, laugh?”

    Read more at: https://fractalenlightenment.com/36114/life/five-ways-to-use-your-anger-more-effectively | FractalEnlightenment.com