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A Way to Follow Our Deeper Nature

It is not uncommon for people to wonder whether what they are doing is in alignment with their deeper nature/higher self/soul.  A way to see if we are on the path we are meant to be is to ask the following:

If you were the only person alive would you still be doing what you are doing?

Or

If today is the last day on the planet what would you be doing?

I am working on a book which is taking considerably more time than I first envisaged.  Which is a whole other story and besides the point.  But I did want to draw attention to writing and my love of it.   If there was no one else but me on the planet, I would still be writing and working on the book.  The same is true if it were the last day on this planet.

The reason is that I love writing.  Similarly […]

By |Friday, October 24th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Short Term Memory Loss and the Present Moment

At a rough estimate, I would think that perhaps 99 out of a 100 people would benefit by being more present in their lives.  This estimate would vary as some would benefit more than others, but I think it’s generally a good idea to be more present in our lives.  I certainly encourage my clients to do so and also people in my social circles.

However, as is the case with many things we often take a good thing and attempt to turn into a panacea.   In spiritual circles, the idea of being more in the present is frequently touted as the end of suffering.  It’s a rather naïve and erroneous assumption which often says more about the persons gullibility that anything else.  This was highlighted again in my mind when I was reading a book on a person who suffers from short term memory loss.

There are cases throughout history where […]

By |Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|2 Comments

The Guest House

Here is a little poetry from Rumi which is a great reminder on how to treat emotions:

 The Guest House

 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

~ Jelaluddin Rumi

By |Monday, October 20th, 2014 |Spiritual|0 Comments

News Stories

Many years ago in a communications class dealing with multimedia we were discussing the news.  The lecturer at the time pointed out that often news stories run for a couple of weeks then tend to die a death of sorts.  When they run there is a narrative that is being espoused which gets consistently repeated.  Normally, intermingled with this spate of news stories is a counter-narrative – it’s usually only a couple of stories which provide an alternate view.

The net effect is if we see a ton of stories about spider bites, we tend to think there is an epidemic of spider bites.  But what we should be highly cognizant of is that for the time being the ‘news’ is enamoured with covering stores about spider bites.  It’s the news corporations that are determining what we are being fed.

We naively believed that the internet would produce more factual reporting.  But […]

By |Friday, October 17th, 2014 |Psychology|0 Comments

I am not I

I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.

~ Juan Ramón Jiménez

By |Friday, October 17th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Deepening Gratitude

In Latin “gratias” is translated as thanks, but really the same word can translate to grace or gifts.  From this perspective, gratitude is a form of grace or a gift from God.

I would suggest that we should not practice gratitude because it is polite or expected in our spiritual circles or because our friends or family are doing it.  Nor should we force ourselves to practice it, simply because we read that practicing gratitude can really change a person’s life.  These are artificial and superficial constructs that often just dwindle out of existence soon enough.  They might however begin as a starting point which develops into something a bit more meaningful further down the track.

The primary reason gratitude should be practiced is because we are trying to cultivate a  new way of being in the world.  We are trying to change our inner worlds so that we can be more […]

By |Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Abuse and Neglect: Spot the Difference

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

I frequently speak of early childhood trauma as having physiological and neurological effects which can alter how the brain functions in later life.  As science peers into the working of the brain through technologies like Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) this notion consistently gains more scientific validity and credibility as time rolls on.

It is not unreasonable to assume that most people tend to associate the big incidents, e.g., violence, sexual abuse, serious illness or injury etc. with trauma.  But things like neglect or constant criticism and negative feedback are viewed as less detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing.  The reality is that, physical, psychological and emotional neglect have just as much as a detrimental impact as other types of abuses.

One of the consistent themes when working with people in a therapeutic manner is they underestimate the effects of neglect and emotional and psychological […]

By |Monday, October 13th, 2014 |Psychology, Science|0 Comments

God is Lost

There are two common trains of thoughts when it comes to enlightenment.  One teaching espouses that we have to work with an intensity in order to find God.  Another proposes that we do not have to do anything, but that God will come when we do not even desire God.  Which of these is correct?

The second proposition is closer to the heart of the matter but the paradox is that in order to get to the second, the first must be taken to heart.  If you do not make an effort that is laziness and God is lost.  If an effort is made, that is desire and God is lost.  Nothing must stand in the way of knowing God, hence the paradox of enlightenment.

I think it was Richard Rose who best summed up the course of action to take.  “We keep working until an accident happens”.  The numinous has an […]

By |Saturday, October 11th, 2014 |Spiritual|0 Comments

Blue Mind

Like many people my life has included a lot of suffering.  During one particularly tough phase in life where I was really struggling psychologically there were a couple of things I found helped which I intuitively gravitated towards.

I live within walking distance from a beach.  When weather permitted, I would sit on some rocks near the beach and watch waves.  My mind was churning filled with all sorts of negative mental chatter.  But the sea had the effect of calming me down and quietening my mind to some extent.  It could be likened to an informal form of meditation where the effect was to provide some relief from the suffering.

The wave watching was not a cure all and certainly no magic pill.  What it did allow though was some respite from the heaviness and profound sadness I was experiencing.  It was during these moments of respite that I was able […]

By |Saturday, October 11th, 2014 |Psychology, Science, Spiritual|0 Comments

Gathering Healing Energy

If you want to gather some healing energy into your lives try the following simple but powerful methods:

Smiling is healing energy.

Sitting in silence and quietening down the mind is healing energy.

Being with nature is healing energy.

Touching is healing energy.

Relaxing is healing energy.

I am sure you could add your own to this list so feel free to.

By |Thursday, October 9th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments