When Things Fall Apart Are You Surprised?
Embracing uncertainty is one of life’s big challenges. To expect the unexpected is a sign of flexible maturity. Often we try to organize our lives to avoid surprises. Because our brains are wired to always anticipate threat first, we forget that the unexpected can bring us some of life's most wonderful experiences as well. Read more
This is my favorite gratitude meditation. Do you have five minutes to let Brother Stendl-Rast transmit his gentleness into your day? There are those that say that if you are only going to choose one Strategy of the Spirit, a Gratitude Practice will transform your life... Read more
How Do You Define Spirituality?
The question "What is Spirituality" will be answered in various ways. It is worth asking yourself how you define spirituality because the spiritual practices you engage in can have a profound impact on your life. As a Mind, Body, Spirit psychotherapist I needed a simple definition that many different types of clients might be able to understand and connect to. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!... Read more
Being On Time is a Life Discipline with Profound Implications.
On the surface, this Strategy of the Spirit is simple. It consists of this: Make it a practice to arrive five minutes early for every scheduled activity. (No matter when you think others will really arrive or the meeting will start.) Use that time to center yourself, meditate, read a novel, listen to something interesting, or simply sit quietly and notice your surroundings. Be present. Gather your wits. Take a breather. This is a challenging homework assignment I have sometimes assigned my clients.
Six more problematic life patterns involved in chronic lateness can be:... Read more
Silence is like food to me.
I love it. I crave it. I feel most connected to myself and others in silence. That is why I have gone to the desert to attend a Centering Prayer Retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault, a great teacher of the Contemplative Wisdom path. So this blog will be brief. I thought I would just share some Silence Quotes with you.
Strategy of the Spirit #10: Silence ... Read more
Have you established a daily reflections practice?
Actually, that’s a trick question. You already have one. The question is, what are saturating yourself with? Remember the old saying “Garbage in, garbage out?” The opposite is also true. Wisdom in, wisdom out (hopefully, eventually, over time.) What are you exposing yourself to on any given day through the media, Internet, books? Are you saturating yourself with the best or worst vision of human nature?
It matters. Read more
A meditation mantra is a powerful psycho-spiritual practice that has the proven power to improve your health, ease your emotions and transform consciousness.
I want to say a belated THANK YOU to a little old Irish nun, Sister Agnes. She “threw me the life preserver” of the mantra practice 31 years ago at an overwhelming time in my life. I grabbed on to it and it saved me. It is still a fundamental “peace practice” for my life. A mantra is simply a ... Read more
Light a candle, light up your life…or someone else’s. The simple ritual of lighting a candle will never lose its power. And rituals, religious or otherwise, do have power (even the Scientific American says so!)
Three reasons why you should light a candle: ... Read more
A gratitude practice can change your life and improve your health and relationships.
Yet please don’t begin a gratitude practice by first scanning the externals of your life for what you can be grateful for.
First make a decision that you want to learn to BE grateful, from the inside out. ... Read more
I have often surprised my psychotherapy clients by the homework I give them.
People sometimes come to a therapist with the idea that simply talking about their issues and analyzing them intellectually will heal them. I am here to tell you that, yes, the insight gained this way is important, but it does NOT necessarily create the desired shifts in behavior or experience.
I will sometimes have my clients read or listen to certain fairy tales to help prepare them for needed change and healing. Consciousness researcher, Robert Ornstein, highly recommends fairy tales, parables and teaching stories as classic methods to strengthen holistic consciousness. Read more
It takes no extra time out of your day to listen to happy songs.
Choosing music more consciously has to be one of the most pleasant Strategies of the Spirit available to us. Once you turn it on, you don’t have to move a muscle. It has immediate and direct effects on our mood, heart rate, and muscle tension.
We benefit when we choose the type of music we need most at any given time: Happy songs or calming music. The science explaining how music effects us is growing.
Integrative medicine guru Andrew Weil states: ... Read more
Handmade crafts are good for you in many surprising ways.
I hope you will engage in a craft as part of your serious psycho-spiritual practice. Handmade crafts aid in developing intuition and have other important cognitive, neurological and social effects. As Strategy of the Spirit #5, it is another practice that increases wellbeing, spiritual intuition and awareness.
Why Connect Crafts to Spirituality? ... Read more
For the past twenty years I have helped my clients by connecting them to some of the natural intelligences being squelched by our current Western mindset and educational system. Linear and analytical thinking is important of course. (You do not want your dentist to be an impressionist.) However, it is not the only intelligence we need to develop to experience a full and vibrant human life. ... Read more
Years ago a lovely man I know took a new job where he had to step into the role of supervising staff that had been in place for years before his arrival. It did not take long for him to realize that two of the workers were a detriment to optimum functioning. Because he is a man of high integrity and a big heart, the idea of firing people did not come easily to him. He struggled with searching for the best way to approach the problem. Was there any way to avoid letting these people go? ... Read more
Far from being bizarre and senseless illusions, dreams have long been respected by many to serve an important problem solving function for mankind. (Last week's posts introduced Strategy of the Spirit #3: 10 reasons to take Dream Work seriously + 3 ways to get started )
Famous Dreamers ... Read more