background preloader

The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment

A friend was walking in the desert when he found the telephone to God. The setting was Burning Man, an electronic arts and music festival for which 50,000 people descend on Black Rock City, Nevada, for eight days of "radical self-expression"—dancing, socializing, meditating, and debauchery. A phone booth in the middle of the desert with a sign that said "Talk to God" was a surreal sight even at Burning Man. So when God came on the line asking how he could help, my friend was ready. "Breathe," replied a soothing male voice. My friend flinched at the tired new-age mantra, then reminded himself to keep an open mind. "Whenever you feel anxious about your future or your past, just breathe," continued God. You Are Not Your Thoughts Life unfolds in the present. When we're at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. Most of us don't undertake our thoughts in awareness. We need to live more in the moment. Related:  Self-HelpPresent Awareness

Mastering Your Own Mind Back when my son was 8 years old, he called 911 after I took away his Game Boy. I wish I'd been studying Buddhism back then, because I probably could have handled it a lot better. I suspect I wouldn't have yelled at him while the dispatcher was still listening. And I bet I wouldn't have been quite so wracked by dread when the police were questioning us in separate rooms of the house—at least until I overheard the other officer ask, "She took away your " Most importantly, I know I would have forgiven my son much more quickly, and the whole thing wouldn't have felt so traumatic . Looking back, I realize I was completely underutilizing my own brain . In contrast, practiced Buddhist meditators deploy their brains with exceptional skill. "What we're talking about is a long-term strategy for cultivating the heart and mind to fully draw forth the beneficial capacities of the human mind," says B. Some 10 million Americans say they practice some form of meditation.

Beyond Mindfulness to Soulfulness — Spiritual Intelligence Twin Poles of Attention Witnessing In recent years the practice of mindfulness has become more widely recognised for its beneficial effects, principally as a means of calming the mind and improving clarity and focus. Presence Although the experience of presence may be intuitively clear, its nature is often misunderstood. Twin Poles of Attention The subject and object of attention are the twin poles of the mechanism of attention. Presence shifts from ego to soul at the opposite pole of attention. Ego and Soul Presence is therefore the shift from the ego to the soul, at the opposite pole of attention. Spiritual Intelligence Mindfulness therefore results from being the soul, instead of being the ego. Beyond Mindfulness to Soulfulness Sources This article is based on a synthesis of findings from different fields of scientific research, including cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis, transpersonal psychology, and neuroscience. How to Experience Spiritual Intelligence [Video] References SQ Sources

Self Esteem Self Esteem For printable ad-free version from this page, please click on the small printer icon. See text below for links to other printable resources. We tend to go through life evaluating ourselves and others according to a scale of worth. The idea of self esteem is the amount of value that we consider we are worth. Low self esteem can be a result of negative life experiences, particularly when we're young and most vulnerable. Low self esteem can stay low, because of our own self-critical thoughts, which can be triggered by criticism, or perceived criticism (even if none is intended, we believe we are being criticised). Self Esteem Quick Reference Sheet How Low Self Esteem affects us Emotions depressed hurt angry frustrated anxious ashamed guilty Thoughts Negative, self-critical: I'm so stupid, I'm worthless, It's my fault, I'm a failure, I'm not good enough, I'm incompetent. Behaviours An example of how this can keep our self-esteem low: The Poisoned Parrot Making Changes STOPP!

4 studies on the surprising science of mind-wandering What makes us happy? It’s one of the most complicated puzzles of human existence — and one that, so far, 87 speakers have explored in TEDTalks. In today’s talk, Matt Killingsworth (who studied under Dan Gilbert at Harvard) shares a novel approach to the study of happiness — an app, Track Your Happiness, which allows people to chart their feelings on a moment-by-moment basis. “As human beings, we have this unique ability to have our minds stray,” says Killingsworth on the TEDx stage. While most people think of mind-wandering as a lifting escape from daily drudgery, the Track Your Happiness data shows that this may not the case. According to Killingsworth’s data, people mind-wander most when in the shower and least when they are having sex. To hear more about mind-wandering — and about the importance of studying happiness in general — watch Killingsworth’s talk. A relationship to working memoryMind-wandering might make us feel less content, but it could also have a functional purpose.

50 Things Everyone Should Know by Mark and Angel Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. While not totally comprehensive , here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. Read the rest of the article

8 Ways to Return to the Present Moment Image by visualpanic. As humans we tend to spend a lot of time in the past or the future. We spend much time thinking about what was and what could have been. This way of thinking is indeed a great way to make much of your life a lot more miserable and limited than necessary. – will be. There are more advantages to being in the moment besides being able to decrease mindmade suffering. Clarity. Now, that sounds nice and useful. But how can you step away from the thought loops that whirl back and forth through your memories and fantasies? How do you actually return to the present moment? Here are 7 ways. 1. Or around you. 2. Take a couple of dozen belly breaths and just focus your mind on your inhaling and exhaling. 3. This is a bit similar to focusing on your breathing. A practical way to do this just to focus on your hand. 4. If you know someone that is more present than most people then you can pick his/her vibe of presence (just like you can pick up positivity or enthusiasm from people).

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back. Here are some ideas to get you started: Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. Update: Read our follow-up to this post: 30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself Photo by: Rob Brucker

12 Indispensable Mindful Living Tools By Leo Babauta The focus of my life in recent months has been living mindfully, and while I don’t always remember to do that, I have learned a few things worth sharing. The first is a mindful life is worth the effort. It’s a life where we awaken from the dream state we’re most often submerged in — the state of having your mind anywhere but the present moment, locked in thoughts about what you’re going to do later, about something someone else said, about something you’re stressing about or angry about. The state of mind where we’re lost in our smartphones and social media. It’s worth the effort, because being awake means we’re not missing life as we walk through it. The second thing I’ve learned is that we forget. The third is that mindful living isn’t just one thing. I’ll share them in this post, and hope that you’ll consider each in turn. Why You Should Care Why bother to spend the time learning these tools? No. This is what I’ve found. The Toolset This list, of course, is not complete.

120 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power Here are 120 things you can do starting today to help you think faster, improve memory, comprehend information better and unleash your brain’s full potential. Solve puzzles and brainteasers.Cultivate ambidexterity. Use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, comb your hair or use the mouse. Readers’ Contributions Dance! Contribute your own tip! There are many, many ways to keep our brains sharp. Mind Wandering: A New Personal Intelligence Perspective | Beautiful Minds Some recent studies (Baird et al., 2011, 2012; Smallwood et al., 2011b; Immordino-Yang etal., 2012) have provided glimpses of how mind wandering or “constructive, internal reflection” (Immordino-Yangetal.,2012) might benefit the individual, but we are just beginning to scratch the surface. To gain a fuller understanding of the benefits of positive constructive daydreaming we need to apply tools and metrics (as in Klinger et al., 1980; Hoelscher et al., 1981; Nikles et al., 1998; Cox and Klinger, 2011; Klinger and Cox, 2011) that enable us identify the personally meaningful goals, aspirations, and dreams of individuals and determine how mind wandering supports or undermines those goals. Given the highly personal nature of mind wandering, we need a new focus and new metrics. Intelligence theories provide an interesting parallel. Executive Attention Network To help correct this imbalance in the literature, I recently proposed the Theory of Personal Intelligence. Default Mode Network

10 Ways to Complain Less and Be Happier “Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb We all complain. Even if you argue that you are the happiest person in the world, you still complain sometimes. Sometimes we complain without even realizing it, but rarely is it ever helpful. For example, I once had a friend who constantly griped about her health, her family, her relationships, school, and the list goes on. No matter what I said or did, it never seemed to cheer her up. So what happens if you are the one stuck in the negative attitude? It’s easier to complain instead of fixing a problem, like quitting a job or having a talk with someone. Here are some tips to stop complaining and ditch the negative thoughts to focus on finding solutions: 1. This is definitely easier said than done. This requires a new practice of being mindful. 2. Constantly ignoring your negative thoughts could add up. 3. Yoga is a great way to exercise, relax, and learn to be mindful. 4. 5. 6. 7.

The Power of the Pause Do you choose your response or act on impulse? Impulse says, "eat the M&M" or "pull the lever", or "hit the snooze button." It feels good in the moment. It’s bad for you in the long run. Why Do We Do It? If it’s bad for us, why do we do it? Choose Your Best Response You can choose a more effective response. What do you want to do? Putting your options on the table helps invoke your best thinking. Practicing the Pause You can use the Power of the Pause for a variety of scenarios. Breaking a habit. I use the Power of the Pause when I reach for something I shouldn’t eat. Improving Your Effectiveness Here’s some more information to help improve your ability to choose your best response: Your thoughts create your feelings. As simple as it sounds, injecting a pause can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. What are some simple ways you can use the Power of the Pause to improve your life? You Might Also Like Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography.