Archives for April, 2012
I want to share with you something that is simple and short. If you've been around in this world long, you've come to know that, for most of us, making change isn't easy. Most of us don't live in communities that are aspiring to help us with our highest aspirations. That's why we need support, some kind of reminder that can help us tap into being more mindful and reminding us of what truly matters. I woke up this morning and in my inbox was my Daily Now Moment called "Elementary Advice." I have to say, I really enjoy these, what a treat to receive them and get to take it in as a reminder to drop into mindfulness and into what really matters. Here is the one I received today that I wanted to share with you:
In the west, the concept and practice of learning how to be more present in our lives has enjoyed an exponentially growing audience in the last 10 years. There have been a number of people and books raising awareness of the importance of cultivating greater mindfulness for the purpose of healing great stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, chronic pain and even creating great joy. However, it wasn't until now that someone within our own government began working to help transform our society from the inside out, in a recently published book A Mindful Nation. If you haven't be introduced to him yet, it is my pleasure to bring to you an exclusive interview with Congressman Tim Ryan as he shares with us why there's a need for change, who inspires him as mindful change makers, some wisdom from Bobby Kennedy, and the quiet revolution happening in America right now.
Human beings are social creatures and the fact is, we need one another for support and survival in this world. Too often in the midst of our relationships one person says or does something that offends another and a spiral of hurt and grievance begins between the two. People get so boiled over with anger inside and make a choice not to connect or make amends with the other because "they don't deserve it." What we're missing in this picture is that this grudge, this boulder of anger we're carrying within us, is actually hurting us! I have seen it now a number of times. "What was the last thing I said to him before he went out the door?" she asked on the day her boyfriend was killed in a tragic accident. We're heard a resounding cry of this years ago during 9/11. Why does it take something so severe as death or threat of injury to bring us back to our senses to what is truly most important...our connections.
While there may be many books out there on parenting, there really isn't any definitive guide because every baby and child is unique and all parents come with our own unique baggage from childhood and genetics. Becoming a parent is wonderful for stirring up all of those old memories and connections from our own upbringing for us to deal with. Mix this in with our continuous fractured attention and we begin to see why it is becoming increasingly important for us to learn how to attune to our own thoughts, feelings and emotions so we can have the ability to do that with our children.
I often say that there are two things in life that we can count on besides death and taxes and that's stress and pain. With that said, it's my pleasure to bring to you Christy Matta, MA. Christy has over 15 years experience in the mental health field, is author of the recently released book The Stress Response: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Free You from Needless Anxiety, Worry, Anger, and Other Symptoms of Stress, founder of the blog Dialectal Behavior Therapy Misunderstood and contributor for the Huffington Post and MentalHelp.Net. Today, Christy talks to us about what Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is, how it can help with your stress right now and some advice for those of us who are struggling. Elisha: Can you give us a brief synopsis of what Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) is and how it relates to stress?
Most of us have some kind of habit in our lives that we’re either trying to change or want to change. Throughout the days of our lives, most of us have experienced moments of clarity that for a moment, help us break free from these habitual cycles and also give us insight into what actually matters in that moment. At first, we often hear the words of change as whispers. They come very lightly, causing us to pause for a second with a little information about what needs to change or how we need to change it. These whispers are not that sticky for the majority of us as our auto-pilot takes over and we fall back into our habits. As time goes on, the whisper starts to get a little louder; maybe we get in trouble at work, a friend stops returning calls, we get a ticket for speeding, or maybe we gain eight pounds from eating cookies as Charles Duhigg did in The Power of Habit. Then, if these aren’t heeded, the whispers turn into shouting where the wall comes down, we get fired, lose the friend, have a serious car accident or maybe develop heart disease. Who’s whispering and how can we help ourselves more deeply listen to break free from the power of habit?
Blogs are great, obviously I'm a fan. It's where seeds are planted to help us make change, but we have to remember it's a seed and we need to bring the content into our daily lives to make it real. In a popular past post Refusing to Forgive: 9 Steps to Break Free, Andrea commented, saying: I feel that while the blogs may provide some little clue to addressing all our concerns. It is in no way enough. I am not saying that it is your job to address our individual griefs but clearly this is a difficult and big topic that cannot be address in 300 words or so. There is no one size fits all. There is a lot of pain up above. And i wish i could talk to all these women. I hope they are all getting someone to talk with. Even if its to take these questions and points further. Andrea has made a very important point that is worth a blog in itself.
Whether we're in the midst of a storm of anxiety or depression or we've come out of the storm but are in fear of relapse, strong uncomfortable emotions can seem like the devil's spawn that we try our best to ward off against. For many of us there is a fear that these strong emotions will be overwhelming and lead us back into the great abyss of depression or another round of intense anxiety. However, it is in this very struggle of non-acceptance or non-acknowledgment of this feeling that our misery becomes compounded. Although our minds believe they are doing the best thing for us, their acts are often driving the exact habitual mind traps we're trying to neutralize. What's another way?
In the years that I’ve been working with people either directly in therapy or teaching mindfulness groups, I have been fortunate enough to witness some wonderful transitions. However, most of us think that’s where therapy ends, and one of the secrets to not only maintaining mental health, but continuing to thrive is by giving back and helping others. This is what often gets forgotten, but Jeff Bell, author of many books, including Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, has an answer that makes this opportunity easy to access.