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Archives for November, 2010


Evaluating Your Values and Taking Your ‘Isms’ Out to Lunch

Sometimes it seems we live in a world of ‘isms’: workaholism, sexism, ageism, racism, idealism, cynicism, feminism, postmodernism, liberalism, absolutism, egalitarianism, fundamentalism, optimism, pessimism, pragmatism… the list marches on.

Yet what does it mean to live our lives around all these things?

Which ‘isms’ feature most strongly in your life?
(And how long is it since you’ve evaluated their place there?)

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Memories – Are There Any You’d Rather Forget?

I bought a little blue leather-bound photo album at a flea market many years ago. It’s full of someone else’s memories, captured in the black and white of the 1930s. And it offers an imaginative, somewhat eerie experience as you flip through it and wonder at what these memories might have meant to their owner (who is probably long gone).

The first image in the album (above) is of a train wreck…

So what of your own memories?...
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Expectation, Acceptance and the Art of Letting Go

I read a great saying the other day, on Facebook. It was sent as a message from one friend to another, offered as a kind of reassuring salve for the sting of not feeling appreciated or acknowledged by other people:
“Do something good
and throw it into the ocean”*

I like it because at first it seems a little extreme. And then the sense it makes starts slowly dawning…

To just do the...
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Seeking the Sacred: Rev Dr. Stephanie Dowrick on Spirituality and Therapy

What do you think - do spirituality and therapy mix?

What is spirituality anyway?
How does it differ from religion (or not)?
How might our spiritual selves and the parts of us that seek healing meet in the therapy room? And is psychotherapy, itself, a spiritual pursuit of sorts?*.

I spoke with Reverend Dr. Stephanie Dowrick, Interfaith Minister, best-selling book author and former psychotherapist, to find out. Here are some excerpts from that interview:
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Advice: Giving it and Getting it in Therapy and Life

It’s amazing where a sense of wisdom or insight can be found sometimes.

This sentence in the photograph above appears as the ‘fine print’ on a billboard advertising credit cards:
“Any advice given is general.
You should consider whether it is right for you.”
It sounds uncannily like it’s talking about more than just financial advice here…

So when it comes to you and your life, how are you with advice?
Do you...
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Are You On Autopilot? Getting Mindful About Mindlessness

Have you ever caught yourself on autopilot? Doing things without really being there? Or just emptily going through the motions?

Maybe what gave it away was noticing the strange little glitches that can happen on autopilot: like putting your keys in the fridge or your notebook in the bin. Or forgetting what you walked into the room for. Or missing your turn-off, or even your destination altogether, because you were ‘lost’ in thought...
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Are You an ‘Expert’? Or Just Overgrown?

This photo was taken several years ago, and it’s always had a haunting quality about it for me. For having taken a stance many decades before, and not having the chance to change its position, this statue is gradually being overgrown. Subsumed. Lost.

It’s like some kind of fable, warning about what can happen if you stand still for too long…

And it reminds me of the many other ways we can perhaps stand too...
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“You Are Live!” (Mindfulness, Therapy and the Remote)

I’m on a plane as I write this, a small TV screen flickering in my face from the back of the seat in front of me. It’s almost impossible to ignore:

Make time fly,” it implores. “Just plug in.”

It promises “time gobbling” live TV (just swipe your card to access). Which sounds quite appealing here on a plane.

But how much of your time – your limited lifetime – do you really want ‘gobbled’ like this?

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Existential Issues

Not Enough Time to be Busy?

I’m feeling quite ‘busy’ at the moment. Balancing work and obligations and family and friendships and planning and life. I’m sure you know the feeling…

And some of that other stuff that often accompanies busyness – a sense of rushing, checking, efficiency, expedience – is becoming more pronounced. So busy’s getting bigger, taking up more space. And the space left over is shrinking.

Yet in between all of that, life continues on. For life...
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