Growing Wiser

Emotional awareness is a sign of growing maturity. We all need to learn to control impulses to act before we examine facts and issues. And, the earlier we learn how to control our thoughts rather than having them control us the better. Continue reading “Growing Wiser”

Affirmations and Neuroplasticity

Have you tried benefiting from applying neuroplasticity through practicing the power of reciting affirmations? Reciting affirmations ie. positive statements to encourage and support yourself on your personal voyage through life has a long history of efficacy rooted in neuroplasticity. Continue reading “Affirmations and Neuroplasticity”

Individuality and Compassionate Connection

Time and conscious experience of spaciousness give us perspective, an opportunity to become observers of our “self”. We tend to think to think our self is unchanging despite the fact that change is the only constant. We deceive ourselves by believing there is a set in stone “me” when that’s not so. Continue reading “Individuality and Compassionate Connection”

Practice Gratitude and Experience Joy

1candleI’ve been feeling so good about the way I’ve been taking care of my business and by that I mean my health and happiness.  That’s not to say that making a living isn’t something I’m taking care of too because I am. It is to say that I have my priorities straight so I’m experiencing gratitude and joy.  Are you? Continue reading “Practice Gratitude and Experience Joy”

A Flash of Lightning

dark skySix months of remaining in a toxic group environment while saying nothing must mean something, right?

Once again, I did not make a healthy choice right away. I hung in there for half a year before deciding to leave and for what?

There must be a life lesson in that but what is it?

Continue reading “A Flash of Lightning”

Like Frost in the Sun

frostleavesLast April I joined an online group that split into two factions within a week of being formed. Some said the problem was personality clashes. Others said it was religious intolerance. I believe the problem is two egos clashing. I made the decision to leave the group, rather than entering the fray. Continue reading “Like Frost in the Sun”

Sixteen Rules to Live By Revisited

cropped-courage.pngI discovered these ’16 rules I try to live by’ in 2007 but did not know who to attribute them to. Today I discovered they can be attributed to Go Daddy Founder and Executive Chairman, Bob Parsons.

As I read these principles again I found wisdom in them and they immediately brought to mind The Eight Irresistible Principles of Having Fun. So I have included both in this article for your reading pleasure.

Continue reading “Sixteen Rules to Live By Revisited”

Half the truth is no truth at all

yoga mudraHere’s a brief gardening analogy I will use to introduce what I’m about to share with my readers.

If we recognize that positively focused people are like fertilizer and rain that helps us blossom and grow in our own lives. And, we also recognize it’s not wise to pull every weed out of our gardens because they provide vital trace elements for growth, then we can likewise choose to summon up enough empathy to become the sun and fertilizer in the lives of negatively focused people. Granted we may limit our time with them, but everyone we meet is our mirror, and if we want love to be reflected back to us then we need to be the light of love in their world. Continue reading “Half the truth is no truth at all”

Life Lessons: Aparigraha (non-grasping)

meditation treeI am as far as one can get from being an urban yoga practitioner. My husband and I choose to live a life of voluntary simplicity in a semi remote location. We waste not and want not.  As we chose to drop out of the consumer driven society and are unimpressed with the unrelenting advertising that assails and assaults us when traveling to the city, we are uncomfortable when evidence of misguided yoga connected marketing success shows up on our shore. Continue reading “Life Lessons: Aparigraha (non-grasping)”

Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?

meditationcollage

Though it’s technically possible to be connected thousands of people thousands of miles away—anytime, anywhere—too much of a good thing can lead to a bad place. Solitude is a human need and to deny it is unhealthy for both mind and body. Living in a technologically connected 24/7 society that undervalues solitude and overvalues attachment is stressful and stress is a killer.  Continue reading “Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?”

Exploring Spaciousness: Experiencing Peace

sky In Are You Afraid of Stillness and Space? Part 1, Sandra Pawula suggests nourishing yourself with space. She explains how space is a vital element that brings balance into our lives, helping to keep stress, distress, and illness at bay.

In Are You Afraid of Stillness and Space? Part 2   Sandra’s  advice is to  slowly break free of our driving need to do and to accomplish and begin nurturing ourselves with small, less threatening doses of space. Continue reading “Exploring Spaciousness: Experiencing Peace”

Benefiting from private journal blogging

hands on keyboardI have written down my observations and responses to events in my life in diaries since I was 8 years old.  Keeping a private personal growth journal is therapeutic process that helps me keep in close touch with my inner brat.   ;)   But sharing every detail of my personal life with the whole world online in a public blog would neither be wise nor appropriate.  So I  have been keeping both a personal growth journal online and a dream journal in private blogs.

My commitment to journaling was flagging when I read Doreene Clements’ The 5 Year Journal in 2007  but her book spurred me on. I shared my approach to keeping dream journal in this blog. I have also published some of my dreams in this blog and doing these things encouraged me  to continue recording  my introspective internal journey in my private journal blogs.

1.   Catch your dreams - We dream every night and in fact we dream all day long too although we are rarely aware of it. Our dreams are not usually depicting real events, except in situations of remembrance or prophesy it’s true, but if we stop and consider then we will realize our dreams are real scenarios – manifestations of our unconscious thoughts and our emotions – manifestations built from the stuff of our lives and made alive through our imagination with the assistance of our intuition.

2.   Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning – Journaling is an important way to help remember dreams. Journaling dreams can make all the difference between getting a valuable piece of information and completely losing it.

3.   Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips – Get yourself a dream journal. If you scratch down your dreams on scrap pieces of paper, or in general note pads, you’ll be sure to lose them. Here are some tips in helping your dream recall.

4.   Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions - When journaling dreams there are specific questions that we can answer that will assist in dream interpretation.

Keeping a private personal growth journal online

Using a keyboard is not that much different than using a pen and writing a journal in long hand. In a blog the process is essentially the same, but in a blog I can do more in the way of self expression by uploading and adding images, video and audio to the text. Writing in a blog editor is far easier for me as I do have swollen finger  joints and painful hands.

The way bloggers communicate and present themselves and their opinions online is important, but even more important than online presence is “to thine own self be true”. Authenticity is the character trait of being genuine, honest with oneself as well as others.  It’s more than that too. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the demands of society or one’s conditioning.   – Blogging: Online presence and authenticity

Conversations with myself

My personal growth journal provides me with access to phases I have gone through. I  record significant events  and major issues in my life as they unfold, the issues I’m struggling with.  I return to what I record in my personal growth journal at later dates and I work things through by having conversations with myself.

Have a conversation with yourself and question your current strategies or aims. Criticize yourself. Praise yourself. Give yourself advice. Reflect on your mistakes.  –The Benefits of Keeping a Private Journal

I record the experiences that touch me deeply and  lead me to laugh or cry. I ask myself deep questions about what I think about them and I answer questions too. But most importantly, I record my spontaneous emotional responses to those significant events and life issues first,  then I revisit them again and again and record  my deeper thoughts about them as I move towards acceptance or resolution.

Gaining insight and healing

I have found that along with therapy, counseling, and meditation,  keeping a private personal development journal  is an essential part of my healing process. By undertaking the journal writing process I gain insight into my subconscious mind, insight I would not have gained if I hadn’t gone through the writing process.

I have used my journal to recall abuse and heal from it. I used my journal to chart my course through cancer and through recovery from a head injury. I’m currently recording my life struggles as a disabled person committed to overcoming chronic illness and stress.

By remaining committed to recording my thoughts and responses, posing questions and seeking answers  I am taking care of myself. The answers demand deep self-inquiry and to find them I must honestly explore my  desires and motivations.  I  must recognize not just my hidden  egocentricity, based on my attachments and aversions,  I must also find out where my non-negotiable commitments lie,   re-visit my core values, and make adjustments where required.  I use my personal growth journal to learn how to love myself and formulate strategies for setting myself free and becoming a better me.

The benefits of private journal blogging

Keeping a private journal helps me:

  1. record significant life events  and major issues and my responses to them;
  2. become aware of my inner dialog and gain insights into the workings of my mind;
  3. release disappointment,  frustration, fear and anger;
  4. become aware of my strengths and weaknesses;
  5. recognize patterns and best practices for replacing them;
  6. clear up confusion and solve problems;
  7. set goals and explore alternative ways of achieving them;
  8. express my creativity;
  9. celebrate my breakthroughs and victories;
  10. reduce stress;
  11. have more to compassion for others and more to contribute to relationships;
  12. remain committed to my personal growth, personal development and self improvement.

Discussion

  1. Do you keep a diary or journal?
  2. If so, have you tried private journal blogging?
  3. If so, what benefits you have received from keeping a diary or journal?
  4. Do you have opinions, either positive or negative, about the value keeping a private diary or a private journal blog?

Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity

One of the main reasons to take a vacation is to get some rest and recharge.  On vacation people tend to pack in more hours of sleep and exercise, as well as spend more time with family and friends–all of which are good for reducing high blood pressure.  According to a study conducted by  the Psychosomatic Society in Savannah,  men who take vacations every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent. Continue reading “Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity”

Overcoming Chronic Illness and Stress

purple flowerOver the course of 3 years I have avoided becoming too personal in this blog, lest I become maudlin and repel readers. Today I’m choosing to share my experiences as a  person with invisible disabilities (fibromylagia, chronic fatigue,  multiple food and drug allergies) and how I have learned to take care of myself.  Hopefully, my readers will share what they do to take care of themselves in return. Continue reading “Overcoming Chronic Illness and Stress”

Timethief: An Interview with Myself

Dragos Roua blogged saying:

Now, here’s the deal. If you blog, feel free to copy and paste this article on your blog (with a link back to the original, of course) and answer each question at a time. Feel free to skip the ones you don’t like or don’t want to answer. But do keep the link back so I can discover you. I told you, you’re important.

Continue reading “Timethief: An Interview with Myself”

Taking responsibility for my consciousness with Eckart Tolle

About Eckhart Tolle:

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany, where he spent the first thirteen years of his life. After graduating from the University of London, he was a research scholar and supervisor at Cambridge University. When he was twenty-nine, a profound spiritual transformation virtually dissolved his old identity and radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.
Continue reading “Taking responsibility for my consciousness with Eckart Tolle”

Effective strategies for conscious living

circle As a child I was a seeker full of questions and as an adult I’m still a seeker and questioner. I am committed to opening my mind as wide as possible to all possibilities.

Are you a seeker and questioner too? Or do you have all the answers?

Continue reading “Effective strategies for conscious living”

Growing Happiness

You Can Be Happy Even When…

  • People have disappointed, betrayed or even defamed you
  • Somebody else is having a bad day and gets upset when you don’t join in their misery
  • Nobody seems genuinely supportive of your goals and dreams
  • You are falling short of your high expectations or you didn’t complete your to-do list
  • Nothing runs smoothly, on time or according to your plans

A video I found to be very empowering is a TED conference video and I’m going to share it with you.

Matthieu Ricard, French translator and right-hand man for the Dalai Lama, has been the subject of intensive clinical tests at the University of Wisconsin, as a result of which he is frequently described as the happiest man in the world. — Robert Chalmers, The Independent

After training in biochemistry at the Institute Pasteur, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk — and to pursue happiness, both at a basic human level and as a subject of inquiry. Achieving happiness, he has come to believe, requires the same kind of effort and mind training that any other serious pursuit involves.

His deep and scientifically tinged reflections on happiness and Buddhism have turned into several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet. At the same time, he also makes sensitive and jaw-droppingly gorgeous photographs of his beloved Tibet and the spiritual hermitage where he lives and works on humanitarian projects.

His latest book on happiness is Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill; his latest book of photographs is Tibet: An Inner Journey.

Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness

Happiness is something that everyone is searching for. When we’re happy, life just feels great. Everything feels…right. Now, as happiness is a goal for many of us, there is a lot of advice out there. I’ve even wrote a post myself about attaining instant happiness, but today I wanted to share some proven examples. –
5 Research-Proven Ways to Increase Happiness

The Gift of Fire

During this time of healing, hibernation and incubation I am conscious that I am preparing to move forward.

These nights I dream of fire, ashes and, of the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes. It seems we are refined through the fire of passion. Just as metals become malleable under heat and pressure we are likewise shaped by the fire in our bellies, shaped by our attachments and our aversions.

Just as the fire of the sun is central to our solar system, the fire in our heart is the center of our physical universe. Spirit of Fire radiates warmth and light as does the human heart and connects us with our divine nature and wisdom. Spirit of Fire dispels loneliness and teaches us the value of community that assists with our emotional transformation.

The Gift of FIRE By Tina Olivero


Beauty: Women in Art

This post was inspired by cjwriter’s post

Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli , Boltraffio, Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Messina, Perugino, Hans Memling, El Greco, Hans Holbein, Rokotov, Peter Paul Rubens, Gobert, Caspar Netscher, Pierre Mignard, Jean-Marc Nattier, Vigee-Le Brun, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Winterhalter, Tyranov, Borovikovsky, Venetsianov, Gros, Kiprensky, Amalie, Corot, Edouard Manet, Flatour, Ingres, Wontner, Bouguereau, Comerre, Leighton, Blaas, Renoir, Millias, Duveneck, Cassatt, Weir, Zorn, Mucha, Paul Gaugan, Henri Matisse, Picabia, Gustav Klimt, Hawkins, Magritte, Salvador Dali, Malevich, Merrild, Modigliani, Pablo Picasso

Click the link for the video below and be prepared to be delighted.

The music on it is from the first of Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Yo Yo Ma on his Stradivarius Cello.

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art – a video

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Being happy no matter what

Christen Resmo reminds us:

You Can Be Happy Even When…

  • People have disappointed or betrayed you
  • Somebody else is having a bad day and gets upset when you don’t join in their misery
  • Nobody seems genuinely supportive of your goals and dreams
  • The day is falling short of your high hopes
  • You are falling short of your high expectations or you didn’t complete your to-do list
  • Nothing runs smoothly, on time or according to your plans

Continue reading “Being happy no matter what”

Unique Diet, Lifestyle, Race and Advertising Interviews

eInterview.org is a Social Psychology Network partner site headquartered at Wesleyan University. The purpose is to conduct web-based interviews capable of changing questions, response options, and item wordings depending on the previous answers given. Unlike simple web surveys, eInterview.org can generate billions of unique interviews on a particular topic.

Development of eInterview.org began in 1999 with funding from the National Science Foundation, and the site was publicly released in March of 2007. And using an interactive technology that took eight years to develop that relies on more than 20,000 lines of computer programming code, eInterview.org “listens” to you and responds much like a human interviewer would.

To demonstrate this new technology, eInterview.org features two sample interviews that each permit more than one billion different variations in the questions and paths used:

The Diet and Lifestyle Choices Interview
The Race and Advertising Interview

Each interview takes approximately 15-30 minutes and is most interesting toward the end, when the system has learned enough to personalize its questions based on your earlier answers.

Both the Diet and Lifestyle Choices Interview The Race and Advertising Interview are uniquely interactive interviews that goes well beyond standard web surveys. In the first one you’ll be asked about your diet, lifestyle choices, values, ethics, and other topics. In the second one You will be asked about race relations, advertising, and society. At the end, you will be given an opportunity to learn more about the topics covered.

The interviews are part of an academic study being conducted by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan University. All responses will be held in strict confidence, and no personal information will ever be sold or distributed for commercial purposes.

As a thank you, anyone completing the interview for the first time will have the chance to be entered into a $300 cash drawing. This drawing will take place after the study is over, and the winner will be contacted by email.


Workaholic: Who Me?

Updated October 24th, 2014. Workaholism is an excessive, compulsive need to work— with resulting damaged interpersonal relationships, health problems, diminished life satisfaction, distorted thinking, and impoverished social relationships. Continue reading “Workaholic: Who Me?”

Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions

Many of us have been formulating dream questions, not realizing that’s what we’re doing. We remember what has bothered us most through the day form the question then drop off to sleep immediately afterwards. We can take more control of these questions or situations by writing them out first and ensuring they are as open-ended as possible.

Repeat the dream question to yourself just before dropping off to sleep. This will help you to gain insight or answers into problems experienced in the waking world. And if you literally want to “sleep on it,” then write the question on piece of paper and place it under your pillow.

When journaling dreams there are specific questions that we can answer that will assist in dream interpretation.

Questions for your Dream Journal

The following are examples of the types of questions to include in your dream journal:

1. How am I acting in this dream? And What are the various feelings/emotions of myself and others in the dream?

2. What is the context of the dream? And does it relate to anything happening in my waking life right now?

3. In the dream, who are the main characters?

4. Who (or what) is the adversary?

5. Who (or what) is being wounded?

6. Who (or what) is being healed?

7. Who (or what) is my companion?

8. Did I dream of actual people, or imaginary people?

9. Could the characters all be different aspects of myself?

10. What features or symbols stand out most in the dream?

11. How do these features relate to me, my emotions, or my personality?

12. How does the dream, taken as a whole, relate to my personality?

13. What are the main actions in the dream?

14. What would I like to avoid in the dream?

15. What actions might it be suggesting that I consider?

16. Does the dream trigger any memories?

17. Do any of the elements of the dream relate to my past?

18. Why might this part of my past be called to my attention now?

19. Does the dream trigger any further questions?

20. Why did I need this dream?

21. What is its positive message for me?

22. Was the dream more physical, or emotional in nature?

In addition to helping us solve daily problems in our waking lives, dream journals can be an important tool that illustrates methods we’ve used in the past to handle similar situations today. They’re a marker for the way our thoughts, emotions, and behavior changes through the years; marking our adult growth in maturity as surely as hash marks on a door used to mark our physical growth as children. Thus the more we make a point of journaling dreams, talking about dreams, and learning about dreams, the richer our dream life will become.

Related posts found in this blog:
Benefiting from private journal blogging
Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning
Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips
Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions

Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips

1. Get yourself a dream journal.
If you scratch down your dreams on scrap pieces of paper, or in general note pads, you’ll be sure to lose them.

2. Get yourself a NICE dream journal.
Dreams contain valuable information. Honor your dreams. If you get a special book, you’re more likely to make a point of using it, and keep using it…just for your dreams!

3. Keep your dream journal by your bedside.
There’s no point in having a beautiful dream journal on a bookshelf where it never gets used. Keep it right by your bed, so you can easily grab it and use it.

4. Keep a PEN by your bedside.
There’s no point in having a journal by your bed with no pen close at hand. Designate a pen for your bedside and make sure it stays with your dream journal!

5. Write as soon as you wake up.
Upon waking take a few minutes with your eyes closed to make the transition to the waking state. You’ll remember the most dream details as soon as you start waking up, so write dreams down as soon as possible. Also, if you wake up in the night remembering a dream, write it down ASAP.

6. Give your dreams catchy titles…like news headlines.
Give your dreams titles like news headlines so you can scan through your journal to find any dream you’re looking for. If you don’t have titles, you’ll have to read through many dreams to see if they’re the one you’re looking for.

7. Write down your dream in present tense. Record your dream as if it were happening right now, rather than reviewing it like a movie.
If you write down dreams in the present tense, they will feel more real and alive when you go to interpret them. If you write down dreams in the past tense, it will feel more distant and dried up. (example: present tense = I’m running, past tense = I ran).

Write down as many details in your dream as you can, no matter how minute or seemingly unimportant it may be. Do not judge the content or worry if it makes sense. The idea is to get it down on paper so you can evaluate it later.

Include drawings because a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Even if you are not an artist a simple drawing can help you to recall details of your dream.

It can be very interesting to look back and see the dates when you had certain dreams. It is a meaningful way to review your spiritual journey. You may also be surprised how often you dream about themes before they actually happen in physical life. Record the date in your notebook, as well as where you’re at if you’re not sleeping in your own bed.

9. Read your dreams back to yourself.
Even if you don’t have time to do a full interpretation, often just quickly reading a dream back to yourself can be useful. Simply hearing yourself read the dream can often reveal some levels of meaning.

10. Learn how to use basic dream interpretation tools.
Dreams are constantly communicating valuable information through the language of symbol. With basic tools to decode dream symbols, and with practice, you’ll get better at decoding dream meanings.

Before you retire to dreamland

Remembering your dreams will require some effort on your part. But what your dreams can offer and tell you about yourself will be well worth it. Here are some tips in helping your dream recall:

1. Briefly review the day’s events before preparing to sleep. This may help you to relate your dreams to what is happening in your waking life, thus answering questions or giving you advice on directions to take. It can also help you to formulate a dream question.

2. Before going to sleeping, clear your mind and affirm your intention. Tell yourself that “I will remember my dream when I wake up”. This is actually a proven and effective way to help dream recall. Having too many thoughts on your mind can distract you from remembering your dream in the morning.

3. Have a regular bedtime and wake up time. Make this your routine. Going to bed and waking up at a regular time every day aids in dream recollection.

3. Avoid alcohol consumption and taking medication before going to bed. These things may hinder you from remembering your dream. Eating fatty foods too close to bedtime can also divert bodily resources away from the brain and hinder dream recollection.

Related posts found in this blog:
Benefiting from private journal blogging
Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning
Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips
Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions

Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning

It’s easy to forget your dreams if you don’t write them down while they’re still fresh in your memory. Journaling is an important way to help remember dreams. Journaling dreams can make all the difference between getting a valuable piece of information and completely losing it.

Dream symbols

Dreams communicate meaning and emotion through the language of symbols. Dream dictionaries can help get you started decoding dream symbols. The meaning of a symbol will vary depending on the context of the dream, your unique personality, and the circumstances of your life at the time of the dream.

On occasion, dreams contain special symbols called archetypes.

Basics

Write down your dream. Read your dream aloud. As you read, see each symbol as a part of you. Use the phrase, “The _______ part of me…” While you’re reading, brainstorm other words you associate with each symbol in your dream. For example, if the phrase from your dream was “rescuing a baby from a monster”, you might say…

  • “The rescuing part of me–the brave part of me, the strong part of me, the true part of me…”
  • “The baby part of me–the vulnerable part of me, the helpless part of me, the weak part of me…”
  • “The monster part of me–the scary part of me, the ugly part of me, the painful part of me, the wounded part of me…”

By doing this exercise, you can decode the symbolic messages in “rescuing a baby from a monster”. One meaning might be ‘you need to find the strength to do something vulnerable and face your wounds.’

Dream Interpretation

Dreams need to squeeze a lot of information from the big unconscious mind into the small conscious mind. To do this, dreams condense their messages into information-packed symbols and metaphors.

Interpreting dreams can take a while. Often you won’t have much time in the morning. But if can get a dream down on paper, then you can get back to interpreting it when you do have more time. Journaling dreams can make all the difference between getting a valuable piece of information and completely losing it. Even if you only get to interpret a dream a few days after…better late than never!

Previous related blog post: Catch Your Dreams

Related posts found in this blog:
Benefiting from private journal blogging
Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning
Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips
Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions