2 weeks 2 days ago
Need a reason to say something nice to someone? Researchers tell us that, every negative gesture or comment needs to be balanced with at least 3 "good things." Otherwise, the negative haunts, humiliates and hurts forever! We can all recall a slur or a slight in our recent past. Some criticisms or put-downs can stay with us for life, with results that still keep us from exploring our best selves. Especially from friends, domestic partners, teachers, or work mates, the negative sticks and stays. When we notice at least 3 good things about ourselves, however, we're inspired and our confidence can be restored--even a little bit. It's worth trying: say something nice, complimentary, optimistic today, especially to someone whom you've criticized in the past. Our world will be better for doing that.
1 month 2 weeks ago
I was talking with Shoken one day, the Abbott of Ryumonji, pouring out all my worries, worst fears, the usual. It was a time like today, when the future was so uncertain, my control over it so minimal. What's going to happen, I pleaded with the wise Buddhist. He seemed calm, empathic, but unmoved. Eventually, after a silence, he said, "Mary, let's just take care of today." Nothing more.
2 months 2 days ago
Ever notice that what you think about can really drag you down? Neuroscience tells us that our physical bodies respond to our thoughts, and that thoughts can either drag us down or cheer us up. Beyond simple emotion, the thoughts then bring about actual situations in our lives. So, if we're "dragged down" by doubt, fear, or anger, we will act in a way that keeps that feeling going, attracting events and people who fuel that feeling for us. On the other hand, if we're cheered by an optimistic or grateful thought, our physical bodies respond in ways that keep that feeling or awareness going. So, doubt, fear, anger can bring on more doubt, fear and anger. Likewise, optimism and gratitude can bring on more optimism and gratitude. When you shift your thoughts, you can go about your day to get positive outcomes. Contact me to learn more!
2 months 1 week ago
Happy Labor Day to all us worker bees who get things done. Lately I've read about millennials who try to retire in their early 40s, so they can actually LIVE life for themselves as they picture it---not for some bloke to make a big profit from their labor. It's a whole different way to think about life, how to live it, how to get what we need. Most of us aren't in a position to quit working, though. But there's sometimes a problem with facing each work day. How can we maintain a motivating attitude, even when we're not doing our favorite thing? One way is to tune into purpose: to link up to what we really, really believe in, care about, and feel good about. One of these may be the commitment to care for our families, for example. Another may be the desire to contribute something good for others. Still another way is to maintain a regular gratitude practice, inviting a new attitude toward the job. Labor Day is a good time to look into ways to be even better at what we do--whether it's a job, retirement, parenting, partnering, or just simply enjoying life as it is.
2 months 3 weeks ago
When we notice the symbol for the yin and yang, we're reminded of what's on a lot of people's minds these days: work/life balance. It's a common topic for wellness in workplaces, for good reason. When we feel off-balanced, we're uncomfortable with the way we're using our time, and other resources Then we get cranky with people around us. One thing this symbol teaches us might be helpful here: We flow more easily from "work" to "life" when we notice who we are. Trying to draw strict lines between the two often means that we're one person at work, another at home. When we're being our true selves in both places, we're more apt to think of the natural flow of our lives, feeling calmer, more aware of what we do when we do it. The contrast between the two becomes more blurred, and our lives are enriched.
3 months 2 weeks ago
Positivity. Some people object to that term, saying it's too Pollyanna, too much smiley face. I like to think of positivity as awareness of appreciation. When we notice ourselves complain, whine, judge, criticize, we realize that we don't like that feeling. When we notice, we're able to choose how to respond. We can choose to make the flip: from pessimism, criticism and anger to optimism, appreciation and calm. Once we try it a few times, we feel empowered and joyful to be rid of that toxic stuff! Enjoying the day we have is a really good place to begin positivity. Have a good one!
4 months 3 days ago
We've learned that every negative comment we make is stuck deeply in the emotional brain. Researchers tell us it takes at least 3 THREE positives to neutralize the effect of the criticism. Does this apply to our own self-talk as well? Certainly. Some of us experience negative inner talk all the time, and it diminishes us to the point where we become emotionally paralyzed. It's time to stop! It's time to talk back! When we notice that inner critic's voice, we can talk back to it and turn it around. For example, I may say to myself, "Look what you've done now; you've really messed up this time." Suppose I were to reply "I know I"m not perfect, but I'm capable of fixing this and moving on." What would you say to your inner critic when you hear it's voice? I love examples of how you deal with this!
4 months 2 weeks ago
I was thinking about writing a post about silence today. Then our electric power went out. Silence. No sounds from appliances, fans, motors of all kinds humming in the background. Also, no computer, land line phone, the usual tools of my trade. Forced to STOP! And experience silence for myself. Funny thing about that: I started looking outside, watching leaves blowing in the breeze, clouds above waving, just noticing how life stirs itself without my gadgets. In silence, we hear our hearts, calm our brains, find beauty and comfort that were there all along. Whether forced into silence or choosing it, we get to "hear" good things.