Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Tools To Thrive Series

Thrive tool of mindfulness.It’s a hot topic these days:  Mindfulness.

It has been touted as a stress reliever.  But it is far more than that (although it does relieve stress).  Mindfulness is really an awareness your experience.  In other words, instead of lost in thought or distracted, you are experiencing the world and you in it.

When you are mindful, you are more engaged with others.  You taste the food you are eating.  You feel the environment around you.

And you are not as lost in thought.  Do remember that your emotional state is a derivative of your thoughts (NOT your experience of your environment).

Stress is really about fear.  Fear comes from thoughts.  Not the experience, but your thoughts and interpretations of the experience.  Reconnecting with the experience disengages the thoughts.

Give it a try.  I give 3 simple mindfulness exercises in the podcast below.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life

Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Does everything happen for a reason?In recent days, I have been with people in the middle of horrific losses.  Inevitably, someone steps up  and in an attempt to comfort, says, “Everything happens for a reason.”

That comment is rarely comforting in the painful moments.

But deeper than that, is it even true?

Many people default to this as a reaction to something that happens and is outside of our capacity to understand.

Sometimes, we want to think that there is something behind it — not just some random event.  But what does that phrase mean?  Does it mean that some force is trying to teach some lesson?

For many people, the answer is yes.

But does that make it so?

Does everything happen for a reason?

Let’s chat. . .

RELATED RESOURCES:
Moving Through Grief
Living The Big Stuff with Kristine Carlson

Healthy Midlife Transitions

Mid Life Transformation Series

How to have a healthy midlife crisis -- transition and transformation.Not every mid-lifer manages a crisis.  Many make a healthy transition to the new stage of life and development.

The difference?

There are several factors that come into play.  Central is a misunderstanding about what is happening.

Many people refuse to admit some change is happening.  They hold onto old models that no longer work.  They cling to old habits that no longer help.

When people come into my office and tell me they think they are having a midlife crisis, I congratulate them and ask, “What took you so long?”  The longer their delay, the deeper the crisis.

Let’s talk about some strategies of dealing with a midlife crisis in a healthy way.

MID LIFE TRANSITION SERIES
4 Myths of a Mid Life Crisis
The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis

The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis

Mid Life Transformation Series

The heart of a midlife crisis: MeaningMost people slide right into midlife, out of breath from exertion.  Up until then, it is all about achieve.  What can I do, build, and achieve?  Then, something shifts.  It is about believe.  What do I believe?  What’s important?  What will I leave as my legacy?

And that is the heart of a midlife crisis.  Meaning becomes a dominant theme, often covered up by the fumblings of someone not used to that question.

Many people at midlife feel a yearning, but they can’t quite identify what they are yearning for.  That yearning is the deeper call of meaning.

I cover the Heart of  a Midlife Crisis in this week’s podcast.

MID LIFE TRANSFORMATION SERIES
4 Myths of A Mid Life Crisis

3 Thoughts To Turn Around Tough Times

3 thoughts to turn around tough times.In the midst of my own serious illness years ago, I had friends who were more than willing to share with me the many ways I might die from my illness.  They seemed to have missed the fact that I had the same information.

But they also missed the fact that I refused to play through every potential scenario.  Not because I was in denial, but because it did not benefit me to focus on it.

In reflection, I used three specific phrases to stay focused on my life (and not my potential demise).

And in fact, these same thoughts and reflections are strong sources of me thriving to this day.

Let me tell you about the thoughts I held and continue to hold when dealing with life circumstances.

Are there other thoughts YOU use?  Share in the comments below.

Life Is The NOW

Immutable Laws of Living Series

Life Is The NOW.Do you ever find yourself “lost in thought?”  I am willing to bet your thoughts are pulling to the past, the future, or an alternate past.  In other words, you are thinking about what happened (or you wish had happened) or about what might happen.

But life is flying by right NOW.  And being lost to the past/future of your mind.

We humans are blessed and cursed.  We are blessed with the capacity of imagining and remembering.  We file memories away through language.  If I said, “What did you do last Saturday?”, you would search your memory database by wondering, “What DID I do last Saturday?”  Then, you would recall the party or event you attended.  As far as I can tell, my dog doesn’t recall much when I ask about our walk yesterday.  Language.

You can also imagine what could be through imagination.  I could ask, “What do you want to do next summer?”  Off your mind would go, imagining what next summer might hold.  Asking my dog about his thoughts for next summer is likely not creating much of a mental thought process for him.

But that curse. . . .

You can also think back on that bad encounter last week with your friend or spouse.  You can worry about what next week might hold at work.  You can remember those hurts and pains from childhood.  You can worriedly think about your finances in retirement.

Same process.

And whether reflecting on good events or bad, imagining good things or bad, we can all lose track of this moment, this NOW.  We humans have the unique ability (and dis-ability) of mentally living in times other than NOW.

As I discuss in this week’s free audio podcast, Life is the NOW.

(and if you’ve missed other podcasts in this series, here are the links:)
Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges
Life Isn’t About Happiness
A Thought Is A Thought
Every Perspective Is Limited
Change Is Inevitable
People Do The Best They Can
We ALL Have Fears
Life is YOUR Responsibility
“What Is” IS What Is
Control What You Can (Release The Rest)
Forgive To Live

Forgive To Live

Immutable Laws of Living Series

Forgive to live:  Immutable Law of Living.Here’s a concept that trips up many people:  Forgiveness.

Oh, sure, you know you should forgive.  But you just don’t know if that is the best idea.  Maybe you believe you just can’t forget what happened (myth:  “forgive and forget”).  Or maybe you don’t think that person deserves to be “let off the hook” (also a myth).  Or perhaps you don’t want to have anything to do with that person (forgiving and connecting are 2 different things).

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the myths of forgiveness — and how important it is to practice forgiving.  And if you need a process to follow on how to forgive, check out this earlier podcast or you can check out this one.

Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges
Life Isn’t About Happiness
A Thought Is A Thought
Every Perspective Is Limited
Change Is Inevitable
People Do The Best They Can
We ALL Have Fears
Life is YOUR Responsibility
“What Is” IS What Is
Control What You Can (Release The Rest)

 

Life Isn’t Fair

Immutable Laws of Living

Immutable Law of Living:  Life Isn't Fair.  That's not the point.If you follow my marriage podcast, you know I am in the midst of a series on the “Immutable Laws of Marriage.”  These “laws” are violated at the expense of the relationship.  There are also Immutable Laws of Living.  And this week, we start looking at those laws.

No, you won’t be in legal trouble if you violate these laws.  You will be in thriving trouble, though.  These are laws that help us to thrive, if we abide by them.  And these laws hold us back, if we push against them.

The first “law” is also a cry I hear from many people, “Life isn’t fair!”  Indeed, it is not.  And that is not the point of life.  Life is not about “fair” or “unfair.”  People cry out about the unfairness of life, hoping that will change things, shift things to be fair.  That shift doesn’t happen.

But instead of shifting views, people continue to proclaim and protest, “Life Isn’t Fair.”

They are correct, and that is OK.  Here’s how to abide by this law.

You Are NOT As Stuck As You Feel

Getting Unstuck Series

You are not as stuck as you think!Stuck.  We all feel it sometimes.  We can’t get ourselves in gear, out of our own way, moving in the right direction, or even moving at all.

There are some reasons we get stuck.  But I truly believe we are never quite as stuck as we feel.

When I feel stuck, it is sometimes helpful for me to remind myself of why I am not quite as stuck as I feel.  When I do that, I get a little momentum.

A little momentum is what I need to begin the process of getting unstuck.

And after you listen to the podcast, you will realize:  you have LOTS of momentum.  LOTS is changing. . . if you are looking.

Introduction To Getting Unstuck Series

Getting Unstuck Intro

New Series Introduction on How To Get Un-Stuck

How we get stuck.  And how we get un-stuck.During my career as a therapist, person after person came to figure out why they were stuck.  As I transitioned to coaching, I realized my focus was on how to get unstuck.

How we get stuck is merely a starting point.  The real task is how to get un-stuck and moving toward our aspirations.

When we are stuck, we can’t be thriving.  But the process of getting unstuck is also the process of thriving.

I believe that we all have the capacity of being un-stuck, regardless of circumstances and situations.

How you are stuck is similar for all of us.  What you do when you are un-stuck, that can vary greatly.  But the process of getting unstuck is the same.

Today, listen in as I tell you how Bill got stuck.

If this strikes a cord in you, please share this episode with the social sharing buttons below, and consider giving a review of the podcast in iTunes or in Stitcher.

Let’s thrive!