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stress Management

Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu is often translated as "humanity toward others," but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

I think we all have a sense of being connected to one another particularly in times of difficulty.

We gather to help one another when times are tough, then I have noticed we go back behind our closed doors.

Do we forget we are connected?

It seems the pace of life today requires we turn inward to our own resources to make life work.

We forget others can help us if we ask.

Just consider for a moment the possibility of being aware that you are connected in some way to everyone you meet and see today.

Notwithstanding our delusion that we are separate and try to do it all alone, can we consider the idea that in fact we are not alone.

The resources available to us go way beyond what we might access on our own.

This is an exciting possibility for everyone’s life.

We just need to pay attention and listen.

Ubuntu can become our daily practice.

This is who you are.

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Where Is The Peace We Seek?

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Where Is The Peace We Seek?

My observation of the world at the moment is of people running around trying to find peace.

In fact, peace is not out there. Peace is in here...it resides in all our hearts, we just don’t realize it all the time.

In the world of the one person there is dissatisfaction with career or family or health or whatever.

A continual litany of something being wrong while proclaiming to find the place of peace.

To find peace within we have to know peace is within ourselves.

If it is something new that is desired in our lives then we must know the place that thing comes from.

It does not come from racing around.

It will not show up if you keep throwing all kinds of crap at the wall and hoping something will stick.

It will come in the quiet moment when you stop, take notice of where you are, who is speaking to you and what your consciousness is about your gifts and talents.

No one is devoid of peace.

Everyone has it.

It resides within each one of us waiting like a beautiful flower to be discovered among bushes.

This is who you are.

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Little Bits of Change

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Little Bits of Change

As you know, everything changes over time.

It happens in small bits so much so you hardly notice it.

For example, I used to have a great head of hair. Now I have more hair growing in my eyebrows than on my head.

How does that happen?

Little bits of change over time.

This is how the journey of life works.

Some changes you have control over, like what you eat and some you don’t like getting older.

However, the ball is in your court to decide how you handle the bits of change you can.

You see it is not the changes themselves that are bothersome, it is how you handle them.

Isn’t it great to realize you are in charge?

But now the problem arises that if you are in charge then you are also responsible.

You are the captain of your own ship.

One little change a day...eventually...makes for a big change in direction.

When you add them up over a lot of years you create your life.

Love it or not your ship sails with you at the helm.

This is who you are.

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Chocolate cake...Please!

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Chocolate cake...Please!

The mind obsesses about the delicious butter cream topping chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen counter.

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The mouth waters just seeing the velvety, smooth dark chocolate treasure awaiting the first bite.

Ok, enough obsession, there really is no chocolate cake although your mind might want one.

However, the human mind has a capacity for obsession about many things.

Thoughts come through the mind at a rapid pace and it has the capacity to process huge amounts of information.

However, the mind loves to stop and focus on one thing and play with it like a kid with a toy.

Over and over the story plays out in thought with the physical body reacting to the delicious promise of food, status, recognition or anything else it has been taught to value.

You see the mind does not know the difference between real experience and imagined experience. 

The result is you have put yourself through the wringer obsessing about whatever it was that caught the attention of your mind.

It is like a runaway train heading for nowhere.

Controlling obsession leads to freedom of thought and body. You release yourself from the powerless feeling of someone else driving your bus.

Try these ideas to give yourself a sense of being free:

  1. Stop - take time to stop and notice your mind is in obsession mode. It may be about chocolate cake or something else.
  2. Observe - how you feel when your mind obsesses. The obsession actually creates physical reactions.
  3. Trust - your intuition to know what you need in the moment other than obsession. 

Freedom from obsession allows for more space to connect to your intuitive knowing about what is right for you right now.

This is who you are.

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Expectations

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Expectations

Do we get what we expect?

Expectations are not always fulfilled because there are circumstances we cannot control.

However, expectations are a filter through which we see and act in the world.

This filter prevents us from seeing and experiencing what is really going on...what else is possible.

It is a limiting way to live.

Can we live without any expectations?

I think we can learn to love living without expectations if we are prepared to be present in each moment and act accordingly.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.”

Unfortunately many of us are not practiced enough at being present in the moment.

We bring our expectations wrapped in agendas, attitudes and success goals along with us at every turn and...miss the moments.

Here are some ideas to let go of expectations:

  1. Focus on what you want and take a small step toward it without pre-engaging in the outcome.
  2. Release yourself from judgement as to how you think your life should be.
  3. Trust yourself to know when you pay attention, the answer you need in this moment will show up

Start exploring life without the chain of expectations.

You will feel free.

This is who you are.

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Dreams Unfulfilled?

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Dreams Unfulfilled?

You have a dream.

You want something to change in your life but you don’t know how to do it.

The harder things get, the harder you try.

That’s because of how you have been trained.

Dreaming.jpeg

You are frustrated because you are not acknowledged for what you have done.

The effort you have put toward your dream is the best you have ever given.

Here is what is getting in your way:

  1. The training that says the harder things get the harder you should work.
  2. The way you keep analyzing the results. It’s like pulling up the roots of a baby plant to see if it is growing.
  3. The judgement you place on yourself for not being good enough.

Here is an alternative way to look at and fulfill your dream:

  1. Acknowledge you don’t know the answer and let that be enough.
  2. Keep putting your effort into your dream by taking the next step.
  3. Understand and know that if you take the next step you have already fulfilled your dream. There is nothing more to do

This is my philosophy of fulfilling my dream. 

When I acknowledge the step I have taken today then I know I am fulfilling my dream because that was what I was supposed to do today.

Do not lament on yesterday or leap into tomorrow.

Your dream comes true in this moment as you take the necessary action.

This is who you are.

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The Game Changer

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The Game Changer

Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a lot to say about mindfulness and how it applies to life.

First, let’s review...what is mindfulness?

My definition is being present to whatever is going on in the moment without judgement.

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Sports coaches have been described as “my way or the highway” type of guys with a hard hitting attitude in a rigid system.

Pete Carroll has taken the concept of mindfulness and applied it to the creation of a winning football team with players who know how to be present in the moment.

There is lots for us to learn using Pete Carroll’s philosophy about living our life.

First, he coaches the whole person so that the player can bring his best strengths to the game. You can apply this by understanding your best strengths and bringing them to the game of your life.

Second, he embedded the concept of being a competitor as a key to his philosophy in his coaching practice. His concept of competition is not about beating others but about being the best you can be. He develops his players to access and stretch into the potential he knows is inside them. 

Mindfulness training develops our ability to do just that...access our own highest potential and act accordingly.

Third, Pete Carroll believes focussing on results is counter productive. He says when we focus outside ourselves we get distracted and lose focus on what is happening in the moment. Instead, visualize the results but focus on yourself and what is happening in the moment.

He doesn’t win every game but he and his players are fully engaged in what they are doing. His level of success on and off the field is testament to his coaching strategy.

I wonder how our lives would be if we took these ideas to heart?

This is who you are.

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Your Brain Loves Pleasure

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Your Brain Loves Pleasure

Habits are formed through the neural connections in the brain.

When you undertake an activity, the brain neurons connect and create a feeling of pleasure or displeasure.

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If your brain likes it then it says, “Give me more of that!”

If the experience creates pain or anger or unpleasantness then the brain will send you messages to resist any more activity that feels like discomfort.

This is how habits are formed.

After a while, neuron pathways are created based on your activities, so it becomes easier to do those activities most especially if they are pleasurable. 

This does not mean the experiences are good for you like over indulging in food or alcohol.

However, your brain does not make the choice as to what you are doing.

It only provides the good feeling or not so good feeling.

As the habit continues for any length of time it becomes harder to change it because when the pleasurable feeling comes up the brain screams at you to get into action to provide more of the good feeling.

The choice to participate, however, is yours. 

Yes, you are in charge of making the choice to go ahead or not.

The power to choose rests with you.

The mindful focus you bring to your life determines the path you follow.

You are in charge.

You are responsible.

Don’t leave your life decisions up to the auto pilot created in your brain because it just likes the pleasure feeling.

This is who you are.

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Blind Spots

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Blind Spots

We all have blind spots.

One type of blind spot is physical and the other is made up from our adaptations while growing up.

We humans accept the physical blind spot easily enough. Most of us don’t even think of it as a problem. The brain does the work by filling in the blind  spot based on surrounding landscape.

However, the blind spot we developed growing up has a lot to do with how we see the world.

That’s why putting several people together and asking them their opinion will result in several different answers.

Your internal blind spot can lead you to limit your perspective and thus limit your possible results.

Here are some ideas to consider in facing your blind spots:

  1. Look at how you judge people and circumstances. Chances are those judgments cloud what might be possible.
  2. What are you afraid of? Childhood fears go into the background as people grow up. Yet they lurk inside you adjusting the way your world is experienced.
  3. What kind of thinker are you? Some people can see big picture and others can only see what is in front of them. Neither one is good or bad It’s just that your view of the world and what is happening gets adjusted according to the way you think. Thus a blind spot occurs.

Recognizing your blind spots is a wise thing to do.

When you understand where they are you open the door to more possibilities.

Now, that’s a good thing.

This is who you are.

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