What is Mindfulness?


Visualizing mindfulness (366/194 July 12, 2012)

Visualizing mindfulness (366/194 July 12, 2012) (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

Have you ever eaten a chocolate bar whilst day dreaming? Afterwards you see the empty chocolate bar packet and realise that you do not remember eating it, or remember how it tasted.

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Review of Creatively Ever After


Creativity is one of those words we associate with activities such as art, music, drama, dance, craft and the like.

What is not always recognised is how important creativity is in the process of  problem solving. No matter how great your life is there will always be problems. If you are a manager or leader at work then a large portion of your time will be spent dealing with problems that arise. Some problems will be simple and easy to deal with. For more complex or difficult problems  creative thinking is required.

Alicia Arnold is a certified facilitator of the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS). She has written a book titled “Creatively Ever After” which details this approach to problem solving.

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Creatively Ever After

Creatively Ever After


Creatively Ever After.

A guest article by Alicia Arnold.

My interest in creativity developed at a young age, though I didn’t know it was called “creativity” back then. When I was 9 years old, a teacher explained there was no such thing as a one-legged stool. Being a curious youngster with a strong imagination, I raised my hand and shared, there was indeed, such a thing as a one-legged stool (picture a flared leg). My feedback was met with disdain. Although I would have hoped an elementary school teacher would have encouraged out-of-the-box thinking, this was not the case. This initiated my behavior of holding back and filtering my ideas. After all, ideas seemed to get me into trouble. [Read more…]

Do You Know The Power Of Now?


A colourful mind
Image by Scuola di Atene via Flickr

When I was a young teenager I was interested in teenage girls. I met several whom I wanted to ask out on a date. Being of a shy nature this was not easy for me. I remember laying in bed at night thinking about asking a girl  at work out. I could not sleep because my mind was asking so many questions:

  • “What if she says no?”
  • “What if she does not like  me?’
  • “What can I wear to impress her?
  • “What if she is off sick and does not turn up for work?”

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How Do You Get It All Done?


 

Cover of "Making It All Work: Winning at ...

Cover via Amazon

The mind is disorganised and that’s just the way it works. Brains are not designed to create order in your life. They need some help.

How many of these statements apply to you?

  • You think about something that needs doing, then forgot about it a few minutes later.
  • You put small objects down in the house such as car keys or glasses and cannot find them a few hours later
  • You are introduced to someone and then forget what their name is
  • You say yes to lots of things and find that the day is too short to do them all
  • You are working on your computer and find that you have been surfing the Internet aimlessly for the last two hours
  • You find that you cannot get enough done and find yourself working long hours

If one or more of these statements describes you then you need help in organising your life.

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Can Mindfulness Meditation Help You be Happy?


Mindfulness Meditation Makes You HappyCan mindfulness meditation make you happy?

I have a friend that calls herself spiritual who attends an evangelical Christian church every Sunday. She also does lots of voluntary work in a Christian organization that distributes food to homeless people.

Despite her spiritual practice and her good works, she is not happy.   I also have some Buddhist friends who are miserable.

If you consider yourself to be a spiritual person then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your spirituality make you happy?
  • Do you struggle to make sense of life and how you fit into the larger scheme of things?
  • Are you content with where you are, or are you reaching for some spiritual or mystical state that always seems just out of reach?
  • Have you found your purpose in life?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, then your spirituality could be, instead or a source of comfort, a cause of conflict in you.

All this has got me think about spirituality and how genuine spirituality should, at the minimum, make you happy. [Read more…]

The Paleo Diet Challenge Video


Here’s a video to watch about the Paleo Diet.

 

Confidence Building Techniques to Get a New Job


 

If you are unemployed you need confidence building techniques to help you land a new job.

Today thousands of contract workers at oil and gas plants in England and Wales are staging unofficial strikes in protest over the use of foreign labour. During times of recession workers feel very insecure about losing their jobs. The use of immigrant workers is seen as a threat to employment.No matter what side of this situation you are on:

  • the workers who feel threatened by immigrant workers
  • the management who defend the use of foreign workers

– the situation highlights the lack of job security that people feel.

What if you have lost your job recently?

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What are the Different Types of Meditation?


Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, ...

Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are the Different Types of Meditation?

While there are many different types of meditation, there are two general classifications: concentrative and mindfulness.  In concentrative meditation, you focus on clearing your mind to provide you with greater concentration, awareness and clarity. In mindfulness meditation, you open your mind to become more aware of the things around you, such as scents, sounds and thoughts.

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Are Mindfulness Meditation Techniques Becoming Mainstream?


Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are mindfulness meditation techniques becoming mainstream?

Most of the time you are lost in your thoughts, Your mind constantly chatters away, often dwelling on fears and anxieties. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to switch of this constant internal chatter for a while? This is where mindfulness can help.

The practise of mindfulness meditation techniques have been a part of Buddhism for a very long time but are  increasingly to be found in other contexts such as:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • As part of patient care in hospitals
  • As part of the education curriculum

What is mindfulness? [Read more…]

Is Your Weight Loss Motivation Going the Wrong Way?


Cover of

 

Is a low fat diet bad for you?

To lose weight requires lots of weight loss motivation. But what if that weight loss diet does not work?

I am recovering from a bout of shingles, a chicken pox related condition that has drained me of energy for the last two weeks and prevented me from posting entries to this blog.

This has been a good time to reflect on my health. I now need to boost my immune system.  One factor in this is nutrition. Conventionally a nutritious diet consists of low fat, lots of carbohydrates and whole grains.

I’ve just finished reading the book:Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes which makes the case for a high fat, low carb diet. Gary argues that the traditional healthy low fat, high carb diet is in fact bad for you. Here’s why…

How Does Stress Affect Health?


Stressed Eric
Image via Wikipedia

How does stress affect health?

A friend of mine started teacher training full of enthusiasm and ambition. She told me that she wanted to be a school head teacher within 10 years of leaving teacher training college.

A caught up with her two years into her teaching career.

“So are you on track to be a head teacher in eight years time?” I asked.

“You must be joking. I never want to be a head teacher,” she replied.

Two years later she retired from teaching. She had carefully observed a few head teachers and came to the conclusion that their job entailed lots of stress caused by:

  • Disruptive pupils
  • Angry parents
  • Local authority education bosses
  • Government policies that kept changing the rules
  • Long hours catching up with the bureaucratic burden of reports and forms that had to be filled in

My friend left teaching to save her health before she too suffered from stress.

So, how does stress affect health? [Read more…]

Can a Positive Attitude Get You Back to Work?


Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth and current Dala...

As more and more firms are closing down in this recession, many find themselves out of a job. This is when a positive attitude makes all the difference.

I used to work in a hotel and also lived there in the staff quarters, so when I was made redundant I was both out of work and homeless which was quite traumatic. This happened on the day before I was due to go on holiday to India.

What I found is that a positive attitude really helped me. I looked at my situation in a positive way.  The first thing I did was extend my holiday from a month to three months. This resulted in my being able to go on a trip to meet the Dalai Lama which is one of my most treasured memories. This certainly would not have happened if I had stuck to my original plan to stay for 4 weeks.

My stay also allowed me to reflect on my life and look at the future as a fresh start, a new beginning.

If you have lost your job recently, you may not have the opportunity to go away for 3 months like me but there are several advantages to having a positive attitude which can help you get a new job.

These are some of the advantages that people with a positive attitude have when looking for a job: [Read more…]

A Positive Attitude Doesn’t Work!


This girl is using a plastic yellow blower.

Some self development teachers stress the need for a positive attitude to life.  But maybe mindfulness is a better way.

A friend of mine was walking through the park when he began to have very negative thoughts that told him he was no good and unworthy. He came back from his walk in the park complaining how bad his mind was today.

I told him that his problem was that he took his mind too seriously.

“It’s only thoughts, its only your mind. Don’t take it too seriously,” I said.

He then exploded with anger.

“I have to take it seriously. It is serious. How dare you tell me not to take my mind seriously?”

I decided to leave his company before the situation got too ugly.

I was trying to get my friend to lighten up and get a more positive attitude. To someone in a dark mood just telling them to be more positive and less serious does not work.

So how do you deal with your mind when it is troubling you?

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Is the Pursuit of Perfect How to Find Happiness?



Is the pursuit of perfect how to find happiness?

In a new book, The Pursuit Of Perfect, Ben-Shahar  identifies two ways of living, whose distinct patterns of behavior provide an important key to our understanding of success and self-fulfillment. They are the Perfectionist and the Optimalist, and there’s a little bit of both in you and me . . .

I once worked for a company whoose CEO was a perfectionist. He regarded excellence as not good enough. Perfection was what was expected. This resulted in many projects taking ten times as long as they needed to be as we became bogged down in the minute details in order to create this state of perfection.  I came to the view that the insistence on perfection was holding back the growth of the company.

Employees lived in fear that their work, though excellent, was judged not good enough because it failed the test of perfection.

So what is the difference between an optimalist and a perfectionist and do any of them give a clue on how to find happiness?

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