Sparking the Creativity, Love, and Playfulness of the Human Spirit

Posts tagged ‘mind’

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE

 How many times a day do you say thank you? Just for a bit of interesting fun, count the number of times. Using the phrase seems to be a form of social grease….pleasantries and niceties we us as we go through a normal day. It seems almost like a reflex when someone holds the door for you, provides you with some kind of service, or answers a question you’ve been pondering for a while. Sometimes it’s just a quick “thanks” when you’re in a hurry, and can be just a nod of acknowledgement or a smile. As an experiment once in a while, add eye contact, and see what happens. With all the “bad news” by which we seem to be besieged daily in all its variations, take a moment to remember that most, if not all, cultures have a way of expressing gratitude. In my opinion, it’s the glue that keeps the rest of us from creating more “bad news”.

At the end of some emails I get are the words, “If you can read this, thank a teacher; if you enjoying freedom, thank a veteran.” I can, I am, and I do. (more…)

Intuitive Heart…or… I DIDN’T KNOW THAT!

Just what izzat, terzackly? Well, fortunately there’s an app for that. On the dictionary app on my phone, I looked it up.

Intuition – direct perception independent of any reasoning process.

Heart – 1) capacity of sympathy/empathy  2) the center of emotion  3) spirit, enthusiasm, courage.

Put ‘em together and what have you got? Not “bibbity-bobbity-boo”, but a phrase describing a state of mind which includes an open-ness to a “sixth sense”, and a willingness to explore the other than physical connections we share. You’ve heard of “women’s intuition”, I’m sure. I’m reasonably certain men have it too, though possibly not as well-developed. Some of you may remember the author of “The Celestine Prophesy”, James Redfield, who based his book on coincidental connections. It was a best-seller decades ago and opened the door a little wider for the exploration of the powers of the mind and spirit, a.k.a. human potential growth. “Intuitive Heart” is similar. (more…)

Benefits of Relaxation

Benefits of Relaxation

Relaxation is one of the fundamental traits of good health. As the mind relaxes, a person will feel more at ease. Being serene allows the mind to react to life in more spontaneous and caring ways to others. Having a relaxed mind also fosters curiosity for new experiences and helps add variety to a person’s life. A relaxed mind is also a calmer mind and calmness allows for greater richness of experiences.

Having a calm mind also allows a person to be more composed emotionally. Often times a person’s emotions are triggered from external events or events in the mind. As a person’s mind and emotions become more relaxed and flexible, the thoughts of the mind and swings of emotions will become more even tempered. A person that spends some time actively relaxing will have a greater sense of emotional stability and calmer reactions to life in general.

Some methods that help the mind and body to relax include: meditation, getting a massage, deep breathing, exercise, listening to music, talking to a good friend who is healthy, taking a bath, and making art. Actively relaxing is something that is easier if you give yourself the time and patience to do so. For instance, you may be exercising at the gym with the aim of relaxing after a day of work. In this case, it would be wise to work out at a pace that leaves your body with vitality when the workout is over.

Having a spiritual practice that fosters a ‘relaxed’ spirit or approach to life can help add to the amount of relaxation a person feels during their life. By ‘practicing’ inner skills like acceptance and understanding, a person can nurture their innate ability to react and respond in healthy and affirming ways to different circumstances in life. Even if a person doesn’t have a spiritual tradition, a person can adopt flexible attitudes about being human by interacting with people from different walks of life. Another way to become flexible and feel relaxed in different social situations is to learn about the cultures and histories of different people.

Having a relaxed mind, body, and spirit are vital components of a healthy, vibrant life. While relaxation may or may not be a priority for you, increasing the amount of time spent relaxing can add more satisfaction and peace to your life.

Fantastic Discussions On A Saturday Night

For the first three Saturdays of the month, here at the Human Potential Center, we have a video. We watch the video, eat popcorn and generally enjoy ourselves.

After the video we have a discussion. This is not your usual chit chat. We are discussing things that are very important to us; ourselves, our feelings and our lives. Some of us can go very deep. I remember one man saying that he couldn’t believe that he had found a place where he could look more closely and discuss his personal issues in a group and end up understanding himself more that he had before.

The movie itself is not the point of the discussion. It is more about the themes in the movie that were the most personally effective. At the end of the movie, we create questions using the themes, whether it be jealousy, anger, or any other feeling that came up for us during the viewing. We learn how to form open ended questions, using I statements, and begin the questions with a what, when or how. Plus, the group assists in the creation of the questions as many of us are new to this kind of thinking. We end up creating evocative questions that help us think about our personal involvement in our lives or life circumstances more deeply.

And we can get the best questions from a light movie. It is amazing how involved our discussions can be after a movie like Green Lantern. This last Saturday we had a great discussion about arrogance, fear and quitting things we love.

I find that even though the person is talking about their own experience, I can always find something that I can relate to in my own life. I love these great discussions which I don’t get in any other part of my life.

Here are the questions we came up with last Saturday. These questions help us to focus our thoughts more clearly on what we want to say about the feelings we had during the movie.

GREEN LANTERN QUESTIONS

1.    If for once I didn’t quit something I cared about, what’s the worst that could happen?
2.    How does my anger originate from my fear, and vice versa?
3.    When have I failed to acknowledge other people’s pain?
4.    What is it about arrogance that attracts me?
5.    What does it take for me to walk away from something I know is not good for me?
6.    In what situations has fear served me?
7.    When have I thought that bad things were happening when I didn’t deserve them?
8.    What am I willing to die for, and why?

So, if you live in or around the Austin area, we would love to have you come and join us, for what always promises to be a great learning experience for all of us.

First three Saturdays from 6 pm to 10:30 pm. The next video will be on May 19th. Check out the video calendar at humanpotentialcenter.org. If you can’t join us this month, maybe we will see you in June. Hope you can make it.

Arrogance vs. Confidence

Over the past few months, I’ve been on a healing and personal journey that taught me a lot about myself and human nature in general. And it has indeed been eye-opening.

This past Wednesday evening, I started a class at the Human Potential Center on Building Healthy Self-Esteem, and I’m everso excited. As someone who started looking deeply inward when I was about 25, seventeen years ago, it is no news to me that the foundation of many of my issues and shortcomings and fears (especially fears) are based in my lack of healthy self-esteem.

Ridiculous, really. I’ve written and published seven books, several of which have won awards and were Amazon bestsellers; produced and directed two documentaries, one of which premiered theatrically in Paris; and have two degrees in English Literature. Some would say I was well accomplished, but my self-esteem is lower than nearly anyone I know. In fact, it’s at a really crippling low level…

What’s up with that?

Self-esteem is something that is gifted to a person in childhood. Or, in far too many cases, isn’t. After one hits puberty without it, they’re pretty much on their own.

Healthy self-esteem can be the difference between success and failure. Seriously. Especially in one’s own mind, which is really where it counts. Even if the world sees you as a success, one word from a critic can cause you to crumble. That’s low self-esteem.

But what many people don’t understand (it wasn’t clear to me until very recently), people who are arrogant also have low self-esteem. Arrogance does not equal confidence. Quite the opposite. (more…)

Self-Esteem In Your Relationships

Self-Esteem In Your Relationships

The health and vitality and the level of emotional reward felt from our relationships a lot of times can be based upon the level of esteem or respect a person has for themselves. A person’s self-esteem can affect not only the harmony or health of a relationship but also the types of people a person would choose to relate to.

Trusting your Instincts

The dynamic of person-to-person relationships often times is a result of instinctual reactions a person may have about someone, the level of trust in that instinctual reaction and the behavior that results from that reaction.

The factor of poor or low self-esteem can cause a person who has an instinct to stay away from certain types of people because of a felt sense of a potential imbalance in a relationship or not being able to meet the expectations of the other person to undercut their natural instincts and engage in a relationship that is based on catering to another person’s needs or desires in order to maintain a false sense of peace. (more…)

On Gratitude

Thank you.

Short for “I’m grateful that you ________, and I want you to know it makes me feel good.”

It comes in many forms: a smile, a nod, a tip of the hat, and in most, if not all, languages.
I use it in a truly heartfelt way when tech support has walked me through a particularly enigmatic problem with my computer. Occasionally, words cannot express adequately what I’m feeling at those moments, and I begin to sputter half sentences in my search for exactly the right phrase and end up just saying “Thank you,” several times.

Gratitude.

Once in a while something goes unexpectedly right in my efforts to get through the day and I take a moment to look up and say “Thanks” to the powers that be. Recently I’ve quit watching the news and reading the paper. I finally learned that media industry complex is dedicated to creating controversy, to keep us all stressed enough to buy something that will help us feel better. No thanks. (more…)

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