Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deeping the inner relationship with yourself

A guide to developing more esteem for yourself:
Compassion: Honour all of your feelings, and listen with empathy to others.
Clear Communication: Express your emotions simply, and speak from the heart.
Creativity: Try new things, be playful, and invite the unexpected.
Consistency: Do what you say, and say what you mean each day.
Challenge: Approach problems with positive expectancy, and learn from the challenges.
Cheerfulness: Embrace the day with lightheartedness, and learn to enjoy life.
Confidence: Trust and believe in your own talents and abilities.
Calmness: Breathe and live from a calm centre within yourself each day.
Clear Agreements: Create clear agreements.
Commitment: Be committed to being true to yourself and honest with others each day.

Steps to self-esteem:
1. Identify and fulfill your needs.
2. YOU approve of yourself.
3. Share experiences with friends.
4. Review your successes and practice self-encouragement.
5. Get in touch with feelings and express them.

“As we lose our vagueness about ourself, our values, our life situation, we become available to the moment. It is there, in the particular, that we contact the creative self. Art lies in the moment of encounter: we meet our truth and we meet ourselves; we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression.”
- Julia Cameron

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reflecting on the choices that we make . . .

"Choice by choice, moment by moment, I build the necklace of my day, stringing together the choices that form artful living." -Julia Cameron

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ways To Reduce Stress at Home and at Work

1. Breathe, when you feel tense, take 10 slow, deep breaths in through your nose, out through your mouth.
2. Touch, hug someone, hold hands, stroke a pet, make non-sexual physical contact with people, brush your hair.
3. Communicate, be honest with your Self and others. Ask for what you want. Express your true feelings when they occur.
4. Drink at least eight, 8 oz. glasses of good water a day. This flushes toxins out of our body.
5. See the humour in life. Laugh at your self and life. Have fun and "play" at life.
6. Meditation 15 minutes a day. Take time to relax, sit, breathe deeply, quiet your mind. Record insights and dreams in a journal.
7. Be Human. Let up on yourself. Forgive your self and others. Slow down and enjoy being alive.
8. Communicate with friends. Spend time with each other. Share the good stuff.
9. Hug three people each day.
10. Quit worrying about the Future. Concentrate on what you can do NOW.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Using what is there

Remember that everything that occurs is not only workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens as the means, way, path to wake up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time for a Rest

Egocentricity trying to understand whole mind (true nature, inherent adequacy, wholeness, etc.) is like your toaster trying to understand electricity.
- Cheri Huber

Monday, March 16, 2009

Art Therapy Exercises: Scribble Drawings

(beginning of scribble drawing)

The scribble drawing exercise can be used as a tool to get away from conscious drawing and enable us to tap into our imaginations or unconscious. In the activity I approached my paper feeling loose, comfortable and calm after doing a relaxation exercise and wide arm movement exercise. I let my hand connect with the paper in large sweeping motions. Next, I removed the paper from the easel and viewed it from different positions until I saw a pattern forming in the scribble. I started creating from an intuitive stance and I engaged in a humorous and playful scene which portrayed transformation. I discovered an archetype in my drawing performing a ritual. She was the Heirophant, a muse, a spiritual translator or a woman with power and knowledge. She can represent wise counsel or the need to rebel and think on your own. She symbolizes external control or the wise woman. She felt light, kind and playful. I was reminded of the butterfly woman in Women Who Run With the Wolves.
Under her feet was the teaming life force pulsing with energy. I could hear drumming and feel dancing. My woman was light, balanced and she drew energy up her body to perform a ritual with her partner, a male. It flashed through my mind that this could be a curse or a blessing, how thin the line was between the two. What she was performing felt profound yet so simple. It reminded me of the feeling when I glimpse some awareness or truth and part of me can’t believe that I haven’t known this simple piece of the puzzle all along and part of me wants to jump in ecstasy at this new revelation which is going to change my life.
Next I joined with a partner to work on a scribble drawing. We started by each of us doing our own separate piece. We picked mine as the one to work on together as it seemed to have the energy flow that matched our moods. First, we worked on our own respective sides until we felt free enough to move more freely around the drawing. We both were intense and engrossed in the development of the abstract drawing. I was drawing energy and continued to work with the feelings and thoughts that the first drawing had stirred up. My partner was working in a rhythmic way with energy and she said afterward that she was still feeling the energy of her first work. For me this exercise was an interesting wind down or closure activity for my first experience.
This exercise would work well for; those who are ready to make their unconscious material conscious; those who want to explore their symbolic language and archetypal influences; and those who want be freer in their expression of art.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living Authentically

I am living inauthentically when I pretend an indifference I do not feel; when I present myself as more than I am; when I present myself as less than I am; when I affect a blindness that denies my awareness; when I laugh when I need to cry; when I fake beliefs to win acceptance; when I fake modesty; when I allow my silence to imply agreement with convictions I do not share. Positive self-esteem demands congruence- which means that the self within and the self manifested in the world be in accord.
Here are some basic questions to consider:
Am I generally honest with others about my feelings in contexts where talking about feelings is appropriate?
Do I consciously strive to be truthful and accurate in my communications?
Do I talk comfortably, openly, and straightforwardly about that which I love, admire, and enjoy?
If I am hurt, angry, or upset, do I talk about this with honesty and dignity?
Do I stick up for myself and honour my needs and interests?
Do I allow other people to see my excitement?
If I know I am wrong, do I acknowledge this simply and candidly?
Do I feel that the self I experience internally is the self I present to the world?
The hard thing about being honest with myself about what I’m feeling is______________
The hard thing about being honest with others about my feelings is__________________
If I strived to be true and accurate in my communications__________________________
If I talked openly about the things I love, admire, and enjoy_______________________
If I were honest about feeling hurt, angry, or upset _____________________________
When I think of what I surrender for fear of being condemned ______________________
If I were willing to experiment with being a little more authentic every day____________

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The paradox of letting go

“The paradox of letting everything go and the mystery of its return express the deeper meaning of the word ‘sacrifice,’ a word that literally means ‘to make sacred.’ When we can trust the quiet calling of our hearts and lay our hopes, dreams and precious attachments on the altar with a willingness to let them go forever, then the whole of our beloved creation will be sanctified and returned to us in ways we never would have imagined!”

— Brenda Sutton

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rediscover the bliss of a child

Today rediscover the bliss of a child.

1. Kids are the original masters of being in the moment. Whatever has their attention has their FULL attention. They know instinctively how to focus.

2. Kids don't focus much on end results. For them it's the joy of the journey, discovery and messing about.

3. Kids have no preconceptions. They delight in the tiniest details. For them it's ‘ all new’. They have true beginner's mind.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Being Soft

“Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you."
- Peter Matthiessen

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reflecting on Anger

Anger is a painful, powerful and complex emotion. When it overwhelms us, we often want to push it away, stuff it down, ignore it or forget it. Not dealing effectively with our anger only increases its potential to be destructive.
1. Our emotions are interconnected. If you suppress anger you also suppress your passion, energy and joy.
2. Traits in others that anger us are often those that we reject in ourselves.
3. When you hold on to resentment you freeze yourself in a victim’s role.
4. Anger is a signal that your rights have been violated, your needs are not being met, or that you are compromising yourself in some way. Let anger be a catalyst for you to learn more about yourself.
5. Turn the pain of your anger into energy for change with five steps: acknowledge your anger, identify its cause, determine what you can do, express your feelings, and let it go.
6. Accept your anger as an emotional fact and a tool you can use for personal transformation.
7. In the process of identifying what’s causing your anger, you determine what is and is not acceptable to you. This is vital self knowledge. Use it to guide your choices and shape your life.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Today when you pause, what do you see?

…in longing you close your eyes,
but in wonder you open them…
—Myra Shapiro in poem “Longing and Wonder” published in The Best American Poetry 1999


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