Category: Self Help

Meditation: A Path To Inner Peace (Part 3 of 4)

Do not dare to miss to read the previous articles:

Meditation: A Path To Inner Peace (Part 1 of 4)

Meditation: A Path To Inner Peace (Part 2 of 4)

 

Continuation:

 

6. Calm, soothing music can be helpful for inducing a state of tranquility and relaxation.

7. If you are hungry, have a little something to eat, as it is not necessary to meditate on a completely empty stomach.

8. Put your expectations aside and don’t worry about doing it right.

Mahamudra

Mahamudra is the form of meditation that is a way of going about one’s daily activities in a state of mindfulness. It is meditation integrated into all aspects of our lives.

This following exercise is one you can do anywhere to create a feeling of inner peace. It is particularly helpful for those times you are stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, at the office when days are hectic, or when you are picking up the kids from school or extra-curricular activities.

“What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it,”

 — Hugh Mulligan

Meditation helps us remember to stop and ‘smell the daisies.’

Here’s how:

  1. Begin by taking a deep breath
  2. Breathe deeply and as you do expand your lungs and your diaphragm
  3. Hold the breath for a few seconds and slowly exhale through the mouth
  4. Focus on your breath and clear your mind
  5. Do this several times until you feel the slowing of your breath and a deep sense of peace fill your body
  6. Consciously feel the peace permeate your body
  7. Drop your shoulders and connect through the top of your head to the Universal Energy
  8. Repeat
  9. If you wish, send peace to those around you by connecting to their hearts with light and love.

Walking Meditation

A walking meditation is simply an exercise in awareness. There are four components:

  • become aware of your breathing,
  • notice your surroundings,
  • be attentive to your body’s movement, and
  • take some time to reflect on your experience when you return home.

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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Great Handshakes (Part 2 of 2)

Please read the first part here!

 

Continuation:

 

Go for the thumb

Keep your hand open and make sure your handshake will be a hand shake, not a finger or palm shake. This means getting the joint of your thumb nestled into the joint of their thumb. The lower joint, the tissue between your thumb to your forefinger. This allows you to truly have a full handshake.

Firm, not strong

A good handshake is firm but not overpowering. It isn’t the precursor to a wrestling match, and it doesn’t feel like a dead fish. Do you wanted to be handed or greeted with a dead fish? I doubt it! Always make your grip firm, but make adjustments based on the firmness of the other person’s grip.

Up and down, not back and forth

A good handshake has a nice up and down motion, not a back and forth one. As if you were jointly trying to saw some wood. Again, adjust the motion to what seems natural and comfortable to the other person.

 Adjust duration

Some people prefer a long handshake, others prefer them much shorter. Observe the other person and adjust the duration to the situation, how well you know the person, and what seems comfortable to them.

Consider your left hand

While it may not be appropriate in some cultures, I often use my other hand to grasp the other side of the person’s hand or to touch their arm. This gesture makes the handshake warmer and more personal. When I am trying to convey those feelings I include my left hand as well. You might consider doing that too.

Close with eye contact and a smile

If the smile and eye contact hasn’t continued throughout the handshake, finish it out that way.

 

After re-reading and thinking about these several times, I realized that the deeper key to handshakes (as with many things in life) is intention.

Keep your focus on the other person, and you will naturally do many of the things on the list. You will make the handshake a natural part of your connection process. Make an eye contact. You will smile and connect. Naturally adjust your grip and focus on the other person.

As a leader or a person responsible for interacting with Customers in any way, the value of this skill is obvious. The fact is though that having a great handshake is a life skill we should all cultivate. It matters to us in creating first impressions and in building relationships.

 

— end —

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 4 of 4)

Please read the very informative first, second and third part.

 

Continuation:

 

Did you act like the member of the indigenous tribe and make sacrifices to appease your gods (okay, parents)? Did you change something normal in yourself in order to not hurt them again? Was the result that you resented yourself for appeasing your parents at your own expense?

If so, your resentment will also have you trapped in self-defeating responses as you go through life. What might that look like? You might rebel against the mother in the joke and become unresponsive to anyone who wants your interest.

Or, in response to a controlling parent, you might become stubborn, defiant, and disagreeable, no matter how severe the cost is to you. Throughout your life these qualities will undermine your relationships with others and also your goals.

Congratulations, You’ve Been Hired by Mystery Firm

Changing to keep our parents happy, or at least to not make them angry, is something you may have tried while growing up. But did you know exactly what you were changing and why? And if you didn’t, did you still try to change anyway?

Compare your situation to this one and see if it helps put it all in perspective for you. You’ve been job-hunting for a while and now at last your search is over. You’ve landed a job.

Only problem is, you don’t know what the job entails, the expectations of you, and what the requirements actually are. One day you walk into work and your boss is angry with you and you don’t know why.

You find yourself thinking, “What did I do?” “Was it the way I handled report A, was it the way I dealt with situation B, or maybe it was how I dealt with customer C?”

You decide which situation you think it was and then you make what you think is the appropriate change. Next time, you think (and hope) it will be different. Your boss will have nothing to be angry about.

You’ve taken care of the problem. Does that make sense to you? Changing but not knowing what you did wrong or fully understanding the situation before you start to make the change?

If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you possibly to fix it? To an adult this probably doesn’t make sense, does it? But this is what we, as kids, do.

Right or wrong, sense or nonsense, we try to change to make sure our parents (or other siblings) won’t be angry or hurt. We’re always trying to keep those “gods” of ours happy so they don’t get angry.

 

— end —

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 3 of 4)

Do not miss out the first and second part.

 

Continuation:

 

Chances are you’d know that if that person behaved badly, it wasn’t your fault. But with your parent or sibling, you’ve been blamed for their unhappiness over a long, long time and you’ve been burdened by long-lasting feelings of (unconscious) guilt.

Why is it so difficult to avoid feeling guilty toward your parents when you probably wouldn’t blame yourself for the badly behaving stranger?

The Gods Must Be Angry

As children, we view our parents in the same way that members of a primitive tribe view their gods. When the gods are angry, the heavens erupt and earthquakes, floods, and droughts occur.

Tribal elders know for certain that the gods must be appeased. Amends must be made for hurting the gods. With a lack of knowledge about the causes of the natural disasters it experiences, the tribe assumes that it has angered the gods of nature.

And so by altering its behavior through prayer, performing rituals and sacrifices, the tribe believes it can placate the offended gods and so alleviate the punishment.

But in altering its behavior in order to amend and atone, the tribe may make accommodations even if they’re detrimental to its well-being—for instance, sacrificing a cow even if there’s a shortage of cows.

In the same way, as a child you assumed that your behavior was responsible for provoking your parents. Though this assumption was often just a general feeling and not clearly well thought out, it was based on real experiences with siblings or parents who constantly acted hurt, threatened, or angered by your normal behaviors.

Remember the mother in the joke at the beginning of the chapter—the one who made her son feel guilty about not paying enough attention to her? Have you ever been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do?

 

Continue reading the last part.

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 2 of 4)

Miss the first part? Read it here!

 

Continuation:

What’s the effect of all this knife twisting?

Maybe your fear of having too much devotion will cause you to be afraid of close relationships and so your search for love will never end well. In the chapter “Why Can’t I Fall in Love and Stay in Love,” you’ll read stories of people whose relationships were damaged by just this issue.

The Bludgeon

Let’s continue with our other style of guilt-provoking manipulation—the Bludgeon. An example of this type is when you act independently of your authoritarian parent and he or she loses control, explodes in anger, and screams at you because you weren’t obedient or submissive enough.

What’s the effect of bludgeoning?

In the chapter “Why Am I Fat and Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” you’ll read about Alice, who rebelled against her controlling parents by getting fat and staying that way.

Whether it’s a slowly twisting knife, a bludgeoning from a hammer, an icy stare or a cold shoulder, the effect of these over-emotional displays of exaggerated suffering is the same—to manipulate you to change a normal behavior or abandon a normal goal.

But why would you change what is normal and acceptable? Because you feel so guilty for inflicting such terrible pain, you’ll conform to their personality flaws no matter how resentful or damaging that may be for your life.

The Stranger at the Party

As a child, it’s hard to imagine that you have the power to inflict so much damage on your parents or siblings just by being yourself and doing the normal things that children do. But because they constantly act so wounded, it’s difficult for you to be unaffected by their guilt-provoking behavior.

Now think about this: If you had a brief encounter with an unpleasant stranger at a cocktail party, would you assume then that you were responsible for his offensive behavior? Or would you say to yourself, or to a friend, “What’s up with him?”

 

Continue reading:

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 3 of 4)

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 4 of 4)