Archives for August, 2011

Bowen Family Systems Theory

Are Your Problems Actually Solutions? Finding Systemic Answers


"No problems."
That's what this sticker on an alleyway wall in my local neighbourhood is on about (in the photo, above).
It sounds like a pretty good No emotional meltdowns, no relationship dramas, no self-sabotage, no "failure."
But is it too optimistic? A bit utopian, even? Something to strive for, maybe, but not completely attainable?

Well, a branch of family systems therapy thinks not.
In fact, from...
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acceptance

Learning To Sit Beside Yourself

Have you ever felt “beside yourself”?

Sort of in two places at once? Maybe shocked or surprised or even beside yourself with joy?

The Australian cartoonist and philosopher Michael Leunig, puts the experience this way:
“Come sit down beside me I said to myself,
And although it doesn't makes sense,

I held my own hand
As a small sign of trust
And together I sat on the fence.”

So is there a way of...
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death

Living Before It’s All Too Late(r): Life, Death And The Power Of Now

It’s easy to be seduced by the idea of “later”:

I’ll do that later.
I’ll fix that up later.
It’ll have to wait until later.
I’ll have time for that later.

(I think I’m slightly addicted to it, myself…)

And the thing with this “later” business is that you have to believe that there always will be a later. That maybe you get some kind of say in how much “later” there’ll be (a lot, thank you). That...
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Existential Issues

Becoming Your Own Inner Gardener


In a book I'm currently reading, I came across this quote:
.


“There are always more leaves than flowers”*
... Or perhaps a notion that there’s “always” more “mundane” times than “special” ones. “Always” fewer of the blossoming moments of perfume and petals in life…

Except for the magnolia I just walked past (in the photo above), all branches and blooms...
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Change

The Serious Benefits Of Play (And How To Invite Some Into Your Life)

This sign in the photo – “PLAY” – is at a local park near a children’s play area.

I love its whimsy. There’s something wonderful about a street sign that’s about as anti-stop-sign as you can get. A sign that’s green for a start, and that insists on such a fabulous pursuit.

So when was the last time you played?

Or are you too serious – too grownup – for that?

(And, if so, what might you be missing...
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CBT

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way: Questioning Your Limitations



There are enough limitations in this world.

Physical ones, depending on your age and agility and health at the moment. Existential ones, in terms of having a finite lifespan and knowing that death awaits us somewhere. And the limitations that the dominant social norms of society might like to try to contain you with (prescribing what we’re all “allowed” or “supposed” to do or be in certain situations).

So there’s plenty.

Yet do...
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acceptance

Getting Back On The Wagon: Success, Failure And The Cycle Of Change

Have you started some new ways of being lately?
Or stopped some old ones?
Some habits.
Some patterns.
Some life choices.

Whatever you call them, they can be challenging to maintain sometimes. Harder, perhaps, to keep in place than it is to kick them off.

So maybe you’ve stopped “emotional eating” (or wanted to).
Or changed the rate at which you turn to certain substances for support.
Maybe you’ve started a more nourishing routine in your life (adding more exercise...
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Emotions

Giving Thanks For The Healing Power Of Gratitude

It’s so easy to take things for granted. We almost seem built to do it – wired to see the danger over the delight. To spot the problem floating on a sea of stuff that’s working.

When this happens, all the enriching, joyful, sustaining things in your life – however fleeting they may be just now – get backgrounded. Lost.

Instead, your foreground is filled with the close-up perspective of the things that bring...
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