Category Archives: Change

Other People: How to “Get Over It”

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Wouldst make thy life go fair and square?
Thou must not for the past feel care;
Whatever thy loss, thou must not mourn;
Must ever act as if new-born.
What each day wants of thee, that ask;
What each day tells thee, that make thy task;
With pride thine own performance viewing,
With heart to admire another’s doing;
Above all, hate no human being,
And all the future leave to the All-Seeing.

Goethe.

 

 

We know we need to let go, to forgive; most of all we know we need to move on.

But how?

How do we do that when the injustice, the hurt, the humiliation, the pain, the loss is still so fresh and sharp, even though the original incident happened years ago?

The best, most effective way is to stop looking at the past and the thing that happened. Instead, look to the future.

But what if we can’t tear your focus away from the past; what if the future has no joy or hope?

The solution is to build a better image of the future, something we can look forward to. If we can’t do this then that means we’ve built up a much stronger, more compelling image of the past than we have of the future.

Focus on you. Focus on where you are headed. Focus on your dreams. If this is too much and you can’t do it, then focus on the next best step you can take in the next moment, the next hour, the next part of the day. Keep focusing on this–taking the next best step. Focus on it minute by minute.

Be relentless about this focus and you will find one day that you have dropped the heavy baggage from the past–the injustices and insults, the hurts and humiliations, the pain and pessimism.

Give it a try and let me know how it’s working out for you. You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: The “Bad Stuff” About Meditation is Actually Some of the Good Stuff!

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Some of the “bad stuff” about a practice of silence and meditation is that it’s too darn hard because our minds wander, we fidget, we just don’t wanna do it!, or we fall asleep!

Yep. At one time or another all of those things are going to happen to us. And, once we’ve established a practice and we’re humming along with it like clockwork, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re blindsided by a phase of restlessness, inattention, boredom, and lethargy.

What’s up with that?!

We use this to justify not developing a practice thinking that we really don’t have what it takes, it isn’t right for us, or we’re hopeless and doomed….

No worries! Believe it or not, all of this “bad stuff” is really the good stuff!

When you’re fidgety, when your mind hops from one topic to another to another to another, when you fall asleep, when you feel resistance to doing your practice, this is your mind and body trying to tell you something!

When this happens, go with it and be the observer, as if you’re an anthropologist or sociologist who’s studying a people in order to understand their way of life.

For instance, if you’re having trouble focusing your mind, observe what topics or issues your mind gravitating toward. Observe what’s going on in your life that your mind keeps coming back to this issue or topic. Think about it on a little deeper level to find what the core issue is, such as abandonment, unworthiness, incapability, etc..

On a more practical level, take a look at the time of day and the place you’re choosing for your silence and meditation. Perhaps they aren’t conducive to quieting yourself. Consider using another meditation method or a different way of silence and meditation.

Perhaps you’re restless and twitchy. Again, your body is speaking to you. Take a moment to tune in and find out what’s going on in your life that you may be avoiding because the squirming might be because you’re trying to get away from a situation or issue in your life.

Also, consider switching to a movement-based form of silence and meditation. Let your body work off the extra steam and energy as your meditating!

Maybe you find yourself falling fast asleep in less than two seconds. Again, tune into yourself. It might be that you aren’t getting enough sleep or taking enough rest breaks throughout the day. Perhaps you aren’t eating enough or the food you are eating doesn’t have enough nutrition. Falling asleep can be an avoidance issue so make sure you take a look at the larger scope of what’s going on in your life.

Also, experiment with changing the method of meditation or the type of meditation, for instance do a standing meditation or a walking meditation. Additionally, change the time of day that you’re meditating.

You may find that you just don’t wanna do it! Like a toddler who’s just discovered the word “NO!”, we can have the same frustratingly stubborn way, even though we’ve been a grown-up for decades! You have to work with yourself when you’re feeling this way. When I’ve felt this resistance, I’ve chosen a repetitive activity that’s fun that can be done quietly. For instance, my favorite is to blow bubbles (click here for my YouTube video about it!). Another thing I enjoy doing is doodling. I’ve also discovered that daydreaming as I gaze out my window is another method to circumvent the resistance.

The trick is to do something fun, that you enjoy; something that can be done alone and done quietly. I’ve found this helps calm my mind and my body and then I can do a little deeper pondering.

Meditation isn’t always about blissing out. It’s about discovering more about ourselves and our purpose in the world. It’s about building a deeper and richer life as a result. Yes, sometimes we get to bliss-out over it but there are times when we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty!

As an aside, when you work with yourself through the “bad stuff” about your meditation practice, you may discover issues that are too big or too much for you to handle. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a counselor, your spiritual or religious leader, a health care professional, a support group, a trusted friend or loved one. Don’t go it alone when there is so much help and support out there for you!

Let me know the ways in which you work through the “bad stuff” of meditation. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 12 Benefits

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We’ve talked several times about sitting in silent meditation and contemplation.

Silent meditation forms in you a wide and deep channel for Love, through which you live a soul-prospering life.

Here is a reminder of the many benefits of a regular practice of this:

~Centering and grounding – let go and release the drama in your life; the drama you create as well of that belonging to others;

~Understand and feel your interconnectedness to the world – you are not alone;

~Align and connect with the Divine within – there is Something Out There that’s far bigger than you, me, the world, the universe…;

~Relaxing – reduces tension and blood pressure;

~Calming – reduces insomnia and increases restorative sleep;

~Boost neuroplasticity – a fancy word for your brain growing new cells and making new connections between neurons, which increases the health and strength of your brain;

~Clears your mind – you can think clearer, more creatively, see connections and opportunities, thus enabling you to make better decisions;

~Peaceful heart and spirit – lessen the likelihood of your emotions getting the better of you;

~Gratitude – aiding you in noticing the gifts, beauty, and happy surprises of Life;

~Increases well-being – you come to understand Life and your Mission on a deeper level;

~Helpfulness – you are more likely to reach out a helping hand to others;

~Joy, contentment, happiness – you come to understand that you are valuable and valued, which is the foundation of true self-esteem and self-worth.

 

You can do it! Go for it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

A few articles about the benefits of silence and meditation:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/silence-brain-benefits_us_56d83967e4b0000de4037004

http://www.chopra.com/articles/why-meditate-0#sm.00019ivvt9hske44xba2adinb7g3e

http://www.lifehack.org/377243/science-says-silence-much-more-important-our-brains-than-thought

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246503

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/20-ways-sitting-silence-can-completely-transform-your-life/

Attitudes and Expectancy: A Closer Look at Expectations

 

 

I came across this video on expectations. I thought it was good and I think it can help you.

I agree with Brendon Burchard that to have no expectations in life is definitely not a recipe for achieving your dreams. Going through life with no expectations is a great way to set yourself up for just drifting through life. I don’t believe this is the most effective way to bring out the greatness within you–and we all have greatness within.

It’s our mission in life to manifest this greatness–not in a way that’s arrogant, stuck up, or better-than-others. Rather, manifesting your greatness is a celebration of the abundance of Life, the goodness of Life, and that it’s available to all of us.

I think Brendon hits the nail on the head when he says that there are three points to expectations:

Form positive expectations for your life.
Believe in yourself; believe you can figure it out when you hit rough patches. It’ll take work and the help of others, most likely, but you can do it. Believe it; expect it!

Have positive expectations of other people.
There are a lot of good people out there who are willing to give you a hand from time-to-time. They won’t do the work for you, of course, but they are glad to share what they’ve learned.

Yes, of course, there are people who aren’t very nice, but I’ve found that they are few and far between. Mostly, people want to help and they will help you. Put in the time, put in the effort and you’ll see that others are glad to reach out a helping hand.

Have positive expectations for Life.
Expect that your days, your life, is getting better and better. Expect Life to support this. Granted, it sometimes does this by throwing you curve balls but, when you look back, you see that the rough patch actually helped you become bigger, better, and more of who you truly are.

I agree with Brendon regarding expectations. How about you? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Crafting a Life of Meaning, a Life that Matters: The First Step

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We all want a meaningful life, one that matters and the first step is admitting that your life isn’t working for you right now, not like it used to.  

The next step is to change it.  Obvious, right?

But how do you make that change?   And why would you because, probably,  you’ve led a good life so far. It might be that you and your spouse are in a loving committed relationship,  your finances are in decent shape,  the kids are making good solid lives for themselves,  you have good friends, good family relationships,  and you’ve achieved a level of success in your career.

What’s to complain about?  Nothing.

So, why are you feeling such discontent?

Plenty of people would change places with you in less than a nanosecond.  Knowing this makes you feel guilty.  You think that perhaps you’re selfish to want more, or to want something else.  By the same token, you’re a little scared to try anything new because you do have it pretty good and you don’t want to lose any of it.

Perhaps you think that painting the living room, buying the snazzy sports car, going on that impressive vacation may help ease the unsettledness inside of you. And these do help…temporarily.  Because your heart and soul are yearning for deeper change, pressing you for lasting change.

Here’s where the little baby steps come to the rescue!

In the space between admitting your life isn’t satisfying and getting up the gumption to make the changes that will enable you to be enthused and energized about your life, are little baby steps.

These baby steps deal with coming to grips with the realization that your Good Life is missing something—something profound.   These steps involve making your peace with your realization so that you aren’t hamstrung and tripped up by it.

Each person’s baby steps are a little different because each person and each life is unique. Having said that, though, some common baby steps are:

~Doing your homework of understanding exactly where you are dissatisfied.   Understanding that you probably don’t have to chuck it all. Your dissatisfaction may be only a small part of your life that isn’t working.

~Recognizing you don’t have to know all the answers of what isn’t working; you only need to start with the one piece that’s the most bothersome.

~Have a heart to heart with your spouse. Treating your unsettledness as a Big Adventure and going on it together. Also, encouraging and supporting your spouse in exploring the  inner recesses of himself/herself.

~Reminding yourself that it’s normal and natural to question your life from time-to-time. People through the ages—the Ancient Greeks, and probably earlier!—have been questioning their existence all along. You’re in good company!

 

These steps should be enough to get you going. We’ll continue to talk more about this in upcoming posts.

Let me know what you think of this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Comfort Zone Resource: “The Comfort Trap or What if You’re Riding a Dead Horse?” By Judith Sills, PhD

 

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We know we’re stuck in our comfort zones and we really want to get out but we’re not sure how to do that.  We look for guidance and most of it is of the “Just do it!” variety.  While this advice may work, often the gains are short-lived and we find ourselves right back where we started:  stuck in our comfort zones.

Needless to say, this can be frustrating and disheartening.

The good news is that I came across the book The Comfort Trap or What if You’re Riding a Dead Horse?  by Judith Sills, PhD., and I think it can help.  Judith Sills’ years of experience in her own counseling practice has enabled her to distill her extensive knowledge into these seven steps:

~Face What Hurts:  admitting that your comfort zone is no longer comfortable; identifying what about it is no longer comfortable;

~Create a Vision:  no one will move out of their comfort zone if there is not something better to look forward to and work toward;

~Make a Decision:  determining that “the horse is dead” and it’s time to move on;

~Identify Your Pattern:  has something similar happened before and how can you use it to move forward;

~Let Go:  detaching from what is no longer working; minimizing losses;

~Face Your Fear:  identifying and moving forward in spite of anxiety;

~Take Action:  laying out the steps to get from here to there.

 

Her book is written in an easy-to-read, engaging, and easy-to-understand style.  She illustrates the steps with anecdotes and real life examples of her clients’.  Also, her suggestions are simple to implement.

The section I found interesting was the Create A Vision chapter.  I’ve known about creating vision boards and have even made a few for myself in the past.  However, Judith Sills’ explanation sounded is much more doable and reasonable.

Let me know what you think of the book!  And, let me know if you’ve come across books that have helped you.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

How Comfortable is Your Comfort Zone?

 

 

 

I’ve come across a couple of books on the comfort zone that I think are good.  I’d like to share them with you, so this week we’ll be talking about a few tips, techniques, and steps for getting out of your comfort zone.

There are many good resources and I’d love it if you would share a few of the ones you’ve found helpful in getting you out of your comfort zone.  Feel free to leave the information in the comments below.  Thanks!

I’m looking forward to this week; it’s gonna be great!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren