Thursday, March 17, 2011

No longer posting here, I have moved my blog.

I'm no longer posting to this blog. I have moved my blog to: Spirituality, Psychotherapy and Positive Psychology
Hope you'll visit me there.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Study Proves that Psychotherapy Saves Lives

CNN Health reported on a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last week indicating that group cognitive behavioral therapy appears to "have the ability to protect people with heart disease from dying of their illness. On the other hand, almost a decade ago the largest study ever to examine whether antidepressants have the same long-term, lifesaving effects in people who have had a cardiac event came up negative...the group CBT intervention focused on the following five goals: education, self-monitoring, skills training, cognitive restructuring and spiritual development."

University of California Television has made a highly informative lecture entitled, "Coping With Stress: Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Reduction" available that you can view via the youtube video above.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Each Day is a Gift

On this grey, bitterly cold day, I take a deep slow breath and remember the following words of wisdom...

"May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder."
~John O'Donohue~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poem for a New Beginning by John O Donahue

I just read a wonderful poem at the Awakening Awareness Blog
A poem that speaks to so many wonderful people whom I travel beside...

Poem For a New Beginning

In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~john o donohue~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Awakening The Dreamer, Changing the Dream

What will it take to create a world that is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just? The Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium addresses these questions and more. Watch the above video and then check here to find out where the next symposium will be in your part of the world. On January 29th I'll be attending the symposium in Portland, Maine from 10:00 to 4:00. If you're in the area, I encourage you to consider registering to attend.

The symposium is described as, "an interactive transformational workshop that inspires participants to play a role in creating a new future: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet." Symposium facilitater, Maggie Cheek wrote, "In our 4 hour symposium we aim to wake people up and create Change Agents in a state of Blessed Unrest who are inspired, equipped and empowered to spread our commitment to changing the dream of the modern world." I'm looking forward to the 29th.

1,000 Amazing Things

The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things

The late nineties were rough years for Neil Pasricha, and after his wife told him that she no longer loved him and a close friend committed suicide, he came home from work one day and in an attempt to cheer himself up he started a tiny little blog he called, "1000 awesome things." In a TED talk he explained, "I was trying to remind myself of the simple, universal, little pleasures that we all love, but we just don't talk about enough -- things like waiters and waitresses who bring you free refills without asking, being the first table to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding, wearing warm underwear from just out of the dryer, or when cashiers open up a new check-out lane at the grocery store and you get to be first in line -- even if you were last at the other line, swoop right in there." And this sweet and simple little blog eventually won a webby award and launched a bestselling book.
We all need to be reminded of those tiny and all too often uncelebrated pleasures in our lives. So I think I'll start with just 10. Let's see...

1. warm towels
2. Baked bread
3. Birds flying in formation
4. The smell of the forest in spring time
5. A puppy's kiss
6. Pumpkin pie
7. The first sip of hot coffee in the morning
8. That feeling that comes right before you drift off to sleep
9. Absorbing the warm sun on my face
10. Being moved by a piece of music
11. Laughing so hard my muscles ache (oops getting carried away here, only supposed to write 10.)

Yup. I feel better. Your turn. Try it. Just list 10....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

9 Choices Extremely Happy People Make

In How We Choose to be Happy, authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks identify 9 choices that extremely happy people make. What are those choices? The happiest people:

1. Consciously choose happiness over unhappiness
2. Choose to accept full responsibility for their thoughts, actions, and feelings
3. Choose to look deeply inside of themselves to determine what makes them uniquely happy vs. looking to others to learn what should make them happy
4.Choose to keep what makes them happy cenral in their lives
5.Choose to convert problems into opportunities and find meaning in even the most painful times
6. Choose to be open to new opportunities and remain flexible and ready to adapt when the unexpected occurs
7. Choose to possess a deep and ongoing appreciation for all that is good in their lives and to stay present focussed
8. Choose to give of themselves generously and without expectation of being rewaded
9. Choose to be honest with themselves and others

I'm going to spend some time reflecting on the exceptionally happy people that I know and consider how closely this criteria fits them. Does it fit the extremely happy people you know? First of all, who are those people in your life? Have you identified them yet? What do you think makes them so genuinely happy?