I walked a mile with Pleasure

001dd79e3a853109cc963b1231b14da1--italian-painters-morning-coffee

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

 

Written by: Robert Browning
Artist: Max Gasparini – “Interpenetration of souls” ICON , oil on metal 100×170

 

Advertisements
Posted in Anxiety & Worry, Depression, Life, poetry

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Posted in Inspirational, Life, Philosophy, poetry, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Change through Acceptance


by Golda Poretsky at Everyday Feminism.com
Photo credit: Rebeca Cygnus

If there’s one thing I learned in my years as a dieter and as a coach, it’s this: Hating yourself doesn’t work – on any level.

You can substitute “hating” for “fighting with,” “tormenting,” “being at war with,” or whatever, but the take-home message is the same. No matter how you say it, being down on yourself doesn’t help you.

It doesn’t create change. If anything, it only creates more stress.

The thing is: We’re all taught to fight our imperfections.

We’re supposed to fight our bodies — changing our shapes, our weights, our wrinkles. We’re supposed to fight our tendencies — to be loud, or rude, or to take the time we need for whatever.

And even if you don’t subscribe to all of the societal “shoulds” that are thrown your way, you may feel a push to hold onto some of them.

Hell, you may even hate your tendency to feel the pressure of all of these “shoulds!”

We grow up learning that this self-hate is normal, that it’s expected, that it’s part of creating change for yourself. It’s how we pressure people into conforming to what we, as a society, deem acceptable. We bully you.

But if you really want to change a habit, or a situation, or how you feel about yourself, the only route that will bring you any peace is to start with acceptance.

From that place, and from that place only, you can actually make a reasoned decision about whether change is even necessary in the first place.

A Real Life Example

Let’s say, for example, that you have a tendency to binge at night. Maybe you stick to a meal plan during the day, or you just feel like you’re able to eat more reasonable amounts during the day, and then at night you feel like you’re bingeing.

How would you handle it if you were fighting with yourself about it?

Perhaps you’d judge yourself, feel guilty for eating what you eat, feel like you need to hide what you’re eating from others.

Maybe you’d get really strict with yourself and force yourself to stop eating as much at night for a few days or a week or two, and then you’d have a particularly stressful day and find yourself overeating again.

Then the guilt and the recriminations are back, and you feel awful. You hate yourself and your lack of willpower and feel stressed out for being out of control.

Sound familiar?

To most people, I’d wager that it does.

But the question to ask yourself is: How does this help me?

Does it at all?

Introducing the “Kindly Researcher”

Let’s consider another way to handle this situation.

I’d like to introduce you to your inner “kindly researcher.”

Your kindly researcher sees your late night bingeing not as a reason to judge you, but as a wonderful source of information.

It accepts what is and just wants to know more.

You can access your kindly researcher at any time.

Use it to ask yourself questions in a kindly way.

It might ask you if you’re eating enough during the day, if your emotions feel more overwhelming at night, if you’re eating past your comfort point because you miss your ex, or feel creatively stymied, or you hate your boss.

As you engage with this concept, you can start to use the stuff you normally fight as a source of information. Not so you can fight it harder, but so that you can, to the best of your ability, start to give yourself what you need.

It will also allow you to start accepting the parts of yourself that you may not be too thrilled with right now. (And if you feel like there’s no way you could accept yourself or your body, check out this recent post.)

Accepting Things About Yourself That You Don’t Like

You may be thinking that it’s dangerous to accept things about yourself that you don’t like.

But on the contrary, I think it’s dangerous not to accept those things.

I can’t think of an instance where someone (a client, a friend, myself) hated something into changing. Not one. Single. Instance.

For years, I hated my tendency to get flustered when I had to do public speaking, even if it was just a meeting at my job. But it was only when I became more self-accepting that I began to give myself a chance to explore some options.

A friend suggested that I try taking an improv comedy class so that I could feel more comfortable speaking off the cuff, and because I was feeling so approving of myself, I was able to do that.

I ended up loving improv comedy so much that I kept taking classes and was asked to be on a musical improv team that performed weekly.

Oh yeah – and I got much less shy about public speaking.

But the amazing thing was that accepting myself and my “flaws” allowed me to have fun doing something that I never thought I could do.

When you accept your perceived flaws, you can actually make some decisions about what you want to change, and whether those flaws are really flaws at all.

Acceptance allows for a fluidity of energy, an appreciation of tiny steps of progress. Hating aspects of yourself just breeds frustration and more hate.

I could give you a bunch of tips here for how to start, but I’d like to just get you started with something simple:

Approve of Yourself for Everything

There are so few things in life that are really do or die.

If you forget your cell phone in your office, gain a few pounds, take a route to work that lands you in bad traffic, wear pants that are more uncomfortable than you thought, forget to wax your upper lip, say the wrong thing in a meeting, or whatever, it rarely has all that much consequence.

And yet, you may find yourself saying to yourself, “I’m such an idiot for doing xyz. Why can’t I do xyz right? What’s wrong with me?”

Instead, say to yourself, “I approve of myself.”

Stop the avalanche of disapproval by thinking or saying it aloud. “I approve of myself.”

Say it or think it at least 100 times a day. (It only takes a few minutes.)

It may feel false at first, or it may feel like a bad idea. You might find yourself thinking, “How can I approve of myself when I always fuck up?”

The question should be, how can you not approve of yourself? What does disapproving of yourself ever get you?

If nothing else, loving your perceived flaws is a worthy experiment.

****

Posted in Depression, Inspirational, Life, Life Coaching, Mental Health, Personal Growth and Development, Psychology-General, Self-Help | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am baffled by this seed of love…

I am baffled by this seed of love

you’ve tenderly planted in my

stitched-up heart,

for my twisted soul now

craves that burning feeling

that lives in my eyes

the following day

after I’ve cried persistently

in the lonesome dark

of the night, over needing

you.

 

Mustafa Tattan

Posted in Creative Emergence, Life, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

20748532592_f993847586_z

By: Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

 

 

Image credit: Matteo on Flickr
Posted in Creative Emergence, Human Potential, Inspirational, Life, Philosophy, Relationships, Society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Seas in Palestine

An excerpt from “The Man Nobody Knows” by Bruce Barton

 

There are two seas in Palestine.

One is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn its banks. Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters.

The River Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, and birds their nests; and every kind of life is happier because it is there.

The River Jordan flows on out into another sea. Here there is no splash of fish, no fluttering leaf, no song of birds, no children’s laughter. Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above its water, and neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink.

What makes this mighty difference in these neighbor seas? Not the River Jordan. It empties the same good water into both. Not the soil in which they lie; not in the country round about.

This is the difference.

The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out. The giving and receiving go on in equal measure. The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps.

The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. This other sea gives nothing. It is named Dead.

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are two seas in Palestine.

Posted in Creative Emergence, Human Potential, Inspirational, Life, Motivational/Inspirational, Personal Growth and Development, Philosophy, Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Society, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

With That Moon Language

By: Hafiz (c.1320-1389)

 

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a
Full moon in each eye that is always saying,
With that sweet moon language, what every other eye in
This world is dying to hear?

 

Posted in Inspirational, Life, Philosophy, Relationships, Society, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Journey

By David Whyte

 

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.

Posted in Inspirational, Life, Spirituality | 1 Comment

What can we affirm right now in this very moment for ourselves that is real, no matter how small it may be?

By Angela Escobar

In a discussion forum I participated in this week, Dr. Arlette Poland made a suggestion to a peer that really spoke to me in a powerful way:

“Never give yourself an affirmation that is stated in the negative or in the future. Look for something that you can affirm right now and that is real, even in a small way.”

What can we affirm right now in this very moment for ourselves that is real, no matter how small it may be?

As you are sitting there reading this, take a few seconds–maybe a minute–to engage in mindful practice.  Check your breathing, check your mind, scan your body, notice any tension harboring in your body and release it.  Observe your life’s circumstances, whatever they may be, and give yourself an affirmation for the present moment that is positive–at the very least hopeful–and real, no matter how insignificant it may seem.  Give this gift to yourself today, now.

 

 

 

 

 

image credits:

“Free-fall”, retrieved from: artofliving.org

Posted in Mental Health, Peer and Social Support, Personal Growth and Development, Self-Help | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 

It turns what we have into enough, and more. 

It turns denial into acceptance,

chaos to order,

confusion to clarity. 

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.  

~Melody Beattie

 

Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving 2015 and enjoy your family and friends!   

 

 

Posted in Inspirational, Life, Motivational, Motivational/Inspirational, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment