An Introduction to Mindfulness

mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark WilliamsThe Mindfulness Summit: Day 1

Professor Mark Williams is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford and was also the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre until his retirement in 2013.

Professor Williams, along with colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto), developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression. He is also co-author of the best selling book ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace In A Frantic World.’

In this interview Mark elegantly answers the question ‘what is mindfulness?’ He also leads 2 simple introductory practices for beginners and talks about why mindfulness is so effective for the treatment of depression relapse.

IN THIS INTERVIEW YOU’LL ALSO DISCOVER…

  • The difference between mindlessness and mindfulness.
  • Why mindlessness often gets us into so much trouble.
  • The cutting edge research on mindfulness for depression (Mark is one of the world premiere researchers in this field).
  • The ‘breathing space’ mindfulness practice, which is great to use in times of stress and difficult emotions
  • How to use ‘habit releasers’ to bring more mindfulness into daily life.
  • An experience of the ‘body scan’ mindfulness practice.

To watch, listen and download this interview, register FREE for The Mindfulness Summit HERE or click one of the banners in this article.
mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark Williams

You may also like this short video of Mark reading “Hokusai Says“. I certainly enjoyed it after listening to the interview.

 

When things go wrong … (part 2)

When things go wrong … (part 2)

So, following on from yesterday’s post, there I was – struck with the shock of it all. I was in a foreign country, I didn’t know anywhere or anyone else in this town, I spoke little of the language, and it was after 11pm. The worst shock of all was that someone I liked and trusted had let me down like this. My body was immobilised for some time apart from the tears falling down my face …

What was I going to do now?

when things go wrongMy spirit was trying to look for solutions, but my head, my conscious and my subconscious human ego, kept interrupting it with thoughts of “How/why did this happen?”, “What did I do to deserve that? I did nothing to deserve that”, “They’re such an asshole/jerk/(insert whatever derogatory description you can think of here, I probably thought every one of them)”.

I could feel the adrenaline and cortisol, hormones produced by fear and a sense of panic, coursing through my body, When this happens I know it isn’t going to end well. While the fight or flight response was designed to protect us, I have come to know it as a precursor to intense fatigue and pain. Much of my learning over the past few years, many of the tools I have learned, such as meditation, EFT tapping, positive thinking, has been with the aim of controlling this automatic bodily response, with varying degrees of success.

However, this was a new situation to me: I was not in, or near, my comfortable home, to where I could retreat and shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on me. This was an emergency situation: I had to take effective, practical action. Sitting for an hour or two tapping, listening to a guided meditation, and drifting off into a nap was not an option at this time, unless I wanted to spend a chilly Spanish night in a hired car. While the adrenaline was keeping me awake for now, but wired and filled with anxiety, I knew it wouldn’t take long for narcoleptic sleepiness to take over (I could feel the stinging in my eyes and heaviness in my eyelids), and for the cortisol surge to start griping at my fibromyalgic muscles (my toes and neck were already feeling the familiar vice-like grip that would come to meet as it spread throughout my body), and I needed to be in a safe and comfortable place before that happened.

After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only about 20 minutes, the friendly but commanding voice that said “Di, you have to get through this”, began to take control. I started the car. I used to visit Nerja, the next town about 10 minutes along a single road along the coast, quite regularly. I knew a couple of British bars there that would probably still be open. So I headed for there.

Along the winding coast road I realised only the sidelights were working on the car, but when I turned the knob, instead of the headlights coming on, the lights went out completely, so I turned it back again. I realised I did not know how to work the lights in the unfamiliar car which I hadn’t driven at night before. So, hoping not to bump, literally or figuratively, into the Spanish police, and hoping there were no traffic cameras along that stretch of road that would catch me with inadequate lighting and result in a 100 euro penalty being deducted from the £300 deposit I had paid, I slowly and carefully progressed along the road, careful not to go over the ridge at the side into the Mediterranean ocean.

I got to my favourite Irish bar in Nerja, and was welcomed by the same owner and barmaid I had known on my previous visits several years before. I asked for a coffee (‘wired’ was definitely a better state to be in than sleepy at this point). I was still visibly upset, and although they were empathetic and tried to be helpful, they didn’t know of anywhere open this late at night.

A brief visit to the English bar around the corner, and a chat with the owner, whom I also knew from yesteryear, also yielded no suggestion of a place that would be open at this time, now after midnight. I returned to my car and again the tears flowed. By now, I was thinking I may have to sleep in the car, but also worried that if I did so, the pain which was spreading rapidly, would be unbearable the next morning and would likely result in the need for Spanish hospital attention. And, I would be needing the bathroom very shortly as the coffee made its way through!

I remembered a discovery I had made just the day before: my old Kindle had a free 3G facility on it. I had only used it for Facebook but I wondered how it would fare with searching on Google (it’s not the Fire type, it’s the e-ink version that doesn’t show any graphics but just plain text). I searched for hostels, and found one that said it had a 24-hour reception. The thought crossed my mind, “how fortunate that I discovered this feature on my Kindle just at the right time, thank you my angels”. Armed with a map I was given in one of the bars, I made my way to it, just a couple minutes drive away, but the difficulty was where I could park the car nearby. I ended up parking illegally, but had to be close enough to walk to the hostel with the tightening vice crunching on my feet and legs, and the crushed-glass-like feeling beneath my soles, my neck and shoulders screaming that they would make me pay for forcing my arms to pull this suitcase along a cobbled street, every stone shooting an agonising lightning bolt through me.

I rang the bell of the Hostal Bronce and a young man emerged from a room and opened the door. “Do you speak English? Can I get a room here now?” I croaked from a throat barely open enough to speak. When he said “Yes”, the relief that surged through me accompanied a buckling of the knees, and a torrent of tears and sobs. He gently touched my arm and guided me into an office, where a young lady appeared and kindly offered me a cup of tea.

After showing him my passport and eagerly paying for a room for the night, the gentleman showed me to my basement room, which was homely and perfect, and had it’s own bathroom. I could not have felt more relieved and grateful if I was in a luxurious palace. Then he carried my suitcase down the flight of stairs for me.

Collapsing onto the bed, I reached into my bag for my painkillers, which I took with the most delicious cup of tea I ever tasted and, fully clothed, I closed my eyes and thought “I am safe!”.

I knew it wasn’t over yet. I would have to decide what my next step was, how I was going to move forward from what had happened. How was I going to deal with the anger I felt at having my much-needed and eagerly-awaited ‘relaxing’ holiday ruined and, even worse, my trust broken? I’d think about that tomorrow, but I reminded myself that at this very moment I had everything I needed.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns;
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he struck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow;
You may well succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the Victor’s cup!
And he learned too late, when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It is when things seem worst you must not quit.

Author : Unknown

Read Part 3 here

When things go wrong … (part 2)

The Boomerang Effect

Over the last few months, within a social group, I have got to know a young man called Andy (not his real name). What I noticed about Andy from the beginning, was that his attitude was quite a negative one. As I have quietly observed him through several interactions in this group, this negativity has manifested in so many areas of his life: he is estranged from his family, he doesn’t have a job, he is always short of money, he often gets into arguments with people, he just can’t see the good in anything. In conversations with him, whenever I would try to point out a silver lining on the cloud, he would immediately repaint it black. We have a saying “For every problem, there is a solution”. Andy seems to have rewritten this “For every solution, there is a problem”.

A couple of evenings ago, after witnessing a particularly intense argument Andy got himself into, with somebody who I know is by nature a calm and reasonable guy and who was actually trying to let Andy know that his problems stemmed from his negativity, I felt inspired to speak to Andy personally. I didn’t get involved in the argument, I took Andy to one side privately. I told him that from what I could see, he didn’t seem to have much happiness in his life. I didn’t see much point in sugar-coating it. Andy agreed with this. However, he seemed to be blaming everyone and everything else for his unhappiness. I gently told him this was not the case, and I gave him my telephone number. I told him I would like to help him, and that I believed I could if he would give me a call.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” – Buddhist proverb

Andy called me today. We had such a pleasant chat for about 90 minutes. I could tell that Andy had reinforced so many negative thoughts and beliefs over the years, and he admitted that he suffers from depression and a lack of confidence in himself. He is angry at his father who won’t help him get a job at his father’s works. I found that his father has actually secured him employment several times but Andy has always lost the job because of his negative attitude. I told him I could only help him if he could see what he was responsible for creating and if he was open to making a few changes. He said he is! I asked him how much better would he feel if he could find his own job, rather than expecting his father to get him one. He liked that idea. So far Andy has already taken 2 important steps: he has made the call, and he has said he wants to change. Excellent start.

“If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.” – Anon

I heard this quote many years ago, and whenever I see the same unwanted manifestation in my life that has occurred before, it pops into my head like it’s on auto-pilot and I know I have to change something, however small.

boomerang effectI used the boomerang as a metaphor in my talking with Andy. I told him that what we put out there, by our words, thoughts, feelings and actions, is like a boomerang, it will come back to us. To change what we are receiving in life, we must be conscious of what we send out from ourselves. Fear, anger, resentment, blame will come back at us and of course we will not feel very good when it hits us. However, when we send out gratitude, appreciation, acceptance, patience, love, oh they feel so good when they come back.

I set Andy three exercises to do, to raise his energy and put some good stuff on his boomerang.

1) Go out and help somebody, with no expectation of reward.

One of Andy’s biggest problems is his lack of work. He feels he is not worth anything because he is not contributing to society, he is not paying his own way.
Andy lives on a housing estate where I know there are many elderly people living. I suggested he could go out and look for someone to help, perhaps with a bit of gardening. He hadn’t thought of doing anything like that, however he liked that idea. I told him not to ‘expect’ any payment, ‘expect’ being the operative word because an expectation can produce a negative emotion if it doesn’t materialise. He would be rewarded by his own sense and good feeling that he has helped somebody, and that is a really good thing to put on a boomerang.

2) In the evening before going to sleep, write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for.

“I haven’t got anything to be grateful for, my life’s shit”, said Andy. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a cut-and-dried negative response as that, however I was pleased to recognise just how basic a level we needed to begin in this training. I reminded Andy that he does have a roof over his head. He said he’d been waiting in for 3 days for his landlord to send a repairman that still hadn’t turned up. It was a relatively minor repair that didn’t impact on his quality of living, other than his decreased energy level in complaining about it. I told him I recognised this emotion, and that while he was sending out that boomerang, the repairman wouldn’t turn up. I told him about how I changed my boomerang about issues like this, and how they began resolving themselves easily. He had to stop complaining about little annoyances like this, because they only get bigger and bigger. We talked more about things he could be grateful for and he agreed to try and write a few gratitudes every day.
I explained that the purpose of this is to reduce the amount of negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts, which you take into your sleep with you, and have a much better-quality of rest.

3) Get up in the morning, draw the curtains, look out and say “What a gorgeous day!”

“I don’t have any curtains,” Andy said “I can’t afford any”. “Even better,” I said “you can see the sunshine before you even get out of bed”. Andy laughed. I told him the purpose of this is so he can start sending out good-feeling boomerangs right at the start of the day. It really does make a difference to your energy level and the brightness of your day.

When you affirm what you want, you send that intention out on a boomerang. It makes it more real, and far enhances your chances of receiving what you want. However, the affirmations you choose need to FEEL real and achievable to you in the present.

In Andy’s situation at the moment, he wants a job, but he hasn’t got one, so it will feel like a lie for him to say “I have a great job”. However, if he can say “I really like to work”, this feels more real, which is why I suggested doing some gardening for someone, because he can think that thought as he is working in the garden.

Andy wants to be a more positive person. He told me that. So rather than saying “I am a positive person” when he doesn’t really feel it at the moment, I suggested to him the affirmation “I CHOOSE to become a more positive person”. He quite liked that one and repeated it a few times, each time sounding more confident.

We chatted a bit more, he sounded more fired up and guess what happened as we ended our conversation? The repairman knocked on his door! YES, the boomerangs can come back that quickly 😀

FREE – The Hay House World Summit 2013

HayHouseWorldSummitIt starts TODAY!

It is FREE to register and listen to the audios online. There are 110 speakers over the course of 10 days, and audios are available for 24 hours. You can choose to purchase the series if you wish. However you will get so much from even a few free interviews that inspire you to choose to listen to them.

Click on the image to the left or click here to register.

Of course it kicks off with the great lady herself, Louise Hay. Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life was one of my breakthrough resources at the beginning of my journey to wellness, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Some of the amazing speakers during this event are:

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer – I Can See Clearly Now

Esther Hicks – The Evolution of the Law of Attraction

Anita Moorjani – The Healing Power of Unconditional Love

Christiane Northrup, M.D. – Emotions and Health: The Crucial Connection

Nick Ortner – The Tapping Solution: A Breakthrough Method for Personal Growth

Doreen Virtue – Listening to Your Angels

Ali Campbell – How to Make Big Changes in Your Life Fast

Arielle Ford – How to Embrace a More Playful Relationship

Jessica Ortner – Emotions, Tapping, and Weight Loss

David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. – How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body

Barbara Carrellas – Sex + Spirit = Ecstasy

Suze Orman – Your Relationship with Your Money Begins with Your Relationship with Yourself

davidji – Meditation and Mindfulness

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. – How to Live in Heaven on Earth

Iyanla Vanzant – Faith, Forgiveness, and What It Means to Heal

Dawson Church, Ph.D. – The Effects of Childhood Emotional Trauma on Health

John Edward – Facts and Fiction of the Spirit World

Get You Can Heal Your Life from Amazon.co.uk

Get You Can Heal Your Life: Special Edition Box Set from Amazon.com

Bringing Sexy Back

bringing-sexy-back lipsDuring my 3+ years of personal happiness development, I have had the pleasure of discovering many new teachers, mentors, advisors, gurus, etc.

Many of these experts are involved in these Summits that I enjoy listening to. Every talk I listen to I pick up another ‘Golden Nugget’ that helps me to enhance some aspect of my ever-expanding, ever-developing, ever-improving life. Best of all they are sharing their knowledge and experience for FREE. How does it get any better than that?

I love to let you know about all the resources I can, especially the low or no-cost ones, as it really feels like the Universe wants you to have this information as readily as possible.

I have been enjoying the Healing with the Masters Summit recently, and the massive Hay House World Summit begins on 1st June with 110, yes ONE HUNDRED AND TEN! top speakers/teachers over a 10 day period. Including Louise Hay, Dr Wayne Dyer, Esther Hicks, Jennifer McLean, Gregg Braden, Deepak Chopra and Iyanla Vanzant, to name but a few. It is FREE to register and listen. I know many of you love these speakers, as do I, so don’t miss it!

Well, I have just found out about a new, exciting event called The SexyBack Summit, which starts on 19th May. And who does not want a bit more Sexy back?

During this 100% FREE online summit — complete with Powerpoint-style slideshow video presentations — you will:

* Learn how to optimize your hormones safely without synthetic drugs

* Discover which foods and herbs will amplify your sexual energy

* Uncover the secrets to reigniting the passion in your relationship

* Hear incredible stories of real people who reclaimed their sex lives naturally

* Have access to our experts via nightly LIVE Q&A sessions

* And much more, all from the comfort of your own home!

Life happens.

None of us are immune to the curveballs life hurls our way — traffic jams, deadlines, bills, conflicts, relationships, bosses, in-laws, e-mails, politics…

Need I go on?

Well, the truth is that it wasn’t supposed to be this way. Our bodies — more specifically, our hormonal systems — were never meant to endure the chronic, non-stop stressors of modern times.

If I listed every single disease and health condition associated with chronic stress, this email would end up being way too long. (And that would probably stress you out!)

So today we’ll just focus on one thing —> your sex drive.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that whenever you’re under a lot of stress, the last thing you’re thinking about is making whoopee. (And that’s probably stressing your partner out!)

There’s a reason for that.

In a nutshell, your hormonal system has two tiny glands, called the adrenals, that make stress hormones (i.e. cortisol) and sex hormones (i.e. testosterone). When stress gets high, your adrenals likes to crank out lots and lots of stress hormones…BUT at the expense of your sex hormones.

In other words, stress hormones go up while sex hormones go down. Next thing you know, sex starts to feel like work. And you don’t want that.

The good news is that you can get your libido back and reignite your sex life…naturally.

My friend Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness is less than a week away from opening the doors to his FREE online SexyBack Summit with 7 days of presentations by 24 medical doctors, naturopaths, trainers, and nutritionists.

But you don’t have to wait until Sunday to get started. Sean put together a series of free videos called SexyBack Sessions to get your primed for the summit.

In today’s episode, The 2 Tiny Glands that Can Ruin Your Sex Life BIG Time, clinical holistic nutritionist Christa Orecchio teaches you…

Why feeling exhausted all day but having a “second wind” of energy at night is a telltale sign of spent adrenals.

How refined sugar sends your blood sugar north and your sex hormones south.

What your digestive health can tell you about your sexual energy. Who know!?
When you register to attend The SexyBack Summit, you’ll get instant access to Christa’s video — plus, you’ll get an email from Sean with links to download your SexyBack Sessions video series as well as info on how the summit works.

Click here to get your sexy back!

… and just to get you in the mood 😀

Not my cuppa tea

tea-kettle-and-cup-clip-artSometimes some people are just not your cuppa tea. It doesn’t mean you have to dislike them, making that choice does you more harm. Just accept they are not your cuppa tea and don’t buy that tea anymore.

Also, turn this around on yourself. Most of us at some point have had the thought “They don’t like me”. I know I have. I have now changed that thought to “I’m just not their cuppa tea. That’s OK”. It’s a much softer, gentler, kinder thought vibration 😀