Archive for May, 2008

Self-care Depression program: Antidepressant Skills Workbook

May 30, 2008

The self-care depression program (PDF file) is based on the experience of the authors and on scientific research about which strategies work best in managing depression. This book is meant to provide accurate information about depression. It is not a psychological or mental treatments and is not a replacement for treatment where this is needed.

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Different Ways Of Knowing

May 29, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

We human beings have many ways of knowing what we need to know in order to get through our lives. One way of knowing things is to engage in a course of study in an academic environment. Another way of knowing things is simply to go through the experiences that come our way, making a conscious effort to learn from them. A third way in which people gain knowledge is through the vehicle of intuition, a gift some have more than others, but which can be developed in anyone. No one way of knowing things is better than another way, and they can all be useful at different points in our lives.

Most of us naturally gravitate toward one way of knowing over others, and this tends to be clear early in our lives. For the most part, we live in a culture that values a logical, mental approach to knowing things, so those with intuitive gifts may have been shamed, undervalued, or misunderstood in our ways. Many of us are working our way out of this incorrect value judgment, recognizing that our intuition, far from being wrong or untrustworthy, is a great gift. For those of us who conduct our learning in the thick of our life experiences, we may also have to make an extra effort to remind ourselves that our particular intelligence—often called common sense–while not always officially rewarded, has its own special genius.

Even though, in a given time or place, certain types of intelligence tend to be valued more than others, no way of knowing is inherently better than another. Once we understand this, we can value our own intelligence, as well as the different intelligences of the people we encounter. Sometimes, just  understanding that we are coming at the same issue in different ways helps us to avoid an unnecessary conflict. When we value all ways of knowing equally, we benefit not only from what we have learned, and how we have learned it, but from all the other forms of intelligence we are open to honoring.

Houseplants to fight toxins

May 29, 2008

From GoodMagazine.com

“Unless you live in an organic bubble, chances are that most days you interact with plastics, paper goods, synthetic fibers, and other household items that contain trace amounts of toxins—toxins that, in
large enough doses, could kill you, but in small doses might still be causing some damage. But fear not: new research shows that readily available and conveniently decorative plants are natural detoxifiers,
scrubbing the air of these potentially harmful poisons.

Here are three commonly found toxins, and the plant species that mollify their effects.”

Physical Bodies on Earth

May 28, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

We are on this earth, in our physical bodies, because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way. It is through our physical body and the physical world that we can experience life. Purely spiritual beings are just that – they are in a state of being rather than doing – in a place that is beyond the limitations of time and space. But when we incarnate on the physical plane, we are automatically subject to the laws of physics and the world of dualities. In this place, we know what happiness is because we have experienced sadness, and we understand the value and power of light because we have known darkness. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to let ourselves be spiritual beings having a physical experience.

There is no pain in the spiritual realm, because we know we are one with the limitless source of the universe. But here, in the material realm, our sense of limitation and separation allows us to feel our emotions and to learn about love, forgiveness, and compassion. We go from a spiritual state of oneness to learning how to be in relationship with people who are different and distinct individuals. We learn to understand ourselves through our relationships with the world around us—its seasons and landscapes, challenges and opportunities. And through our journey to find our place among so many others, we begin to recognize our own glimmer of light in a constellation of stars.

Once we remember that we are spiritual beings, we can revel in the experience of being human while knowing we are all connected. We can live from the place of oneness while truly appreciating the beauty of diversity, the bittersweet feel of love and loss, and the elation of triumph over challenges and adversity. It is through these opposites that we experience life itself, and we can ride through the dark times with the understanding that it will help us to appreciate the light of life and love and spirit more fully. We are here now because we made the choice to experience an earth life, so now we can choose to enjoy the journey as completely as possible. 

Pushing Buttons

May 27, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

We’ve all had our buttons pushed to the point where we feel we can’t take it any more, and chances are, we’ve all pushed somebody else’s buttons, with or without knowing it. The button pusher may not be conscious of what they’re doing, but in the end the buttons belong to us, and we are the ones who must deal with what comes up. The more we take responsibility for our own feelings and reactions, the less tender these buttons will be.

We’ve all had the experience of having someone snap at us, seemingly out of nowhere. This happens when we unconsciously push a button in someone else we didn’t even know was there. This can happen with a complete stranger and sometimes with a person we’ve known and been close to for years. We ourselves may have a relationship with someone whose buttons we secretly like to push. Buttons are just soft spots that have been touched one too many times, and they symbolize some pain that needs to be acknowledged and healed. This may be a wound from childhood, or some recent trauma, that we haven’t adequately tended. Whatever the case, when our buttons get pushed, the person who most needs our attention and caring is us, and blaming the button pusher only distracts us from finding a true resolution to our suffering.

At the same time, if someone continually opens our wounds so that they never have time to heal, we are well within our rights to set a boundary with that person. Compulsive button pushers, who seem to find pleasure or satisfaction in hurting us, are not welcome in our personal space. In the end, knowing where our buttons are enables us to do the work necessary to heal. Freedom comes when we deal with the pain behind the button, thus disconnecting our automatic reaction to being pushed.

Inspirational Quotes for Parents

May 24, 2008

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.
— Josh Billings–
 
The best thing to spend on your children is your time.
— Louise Hart–

Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own.
– Doug Larson–
 
Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.
–Ed Asner–
 
We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.
–Harry Edwards–

Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say.
–Wayne Dyer
 

Acceptance As Giving

May 24, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Giving and receiving are part of the same cycle, and we each give and receive in our own ways. But we can lose our balance when we try to be too controlling on either side of the cycle. On the receiving end, we may feel that we don’t deserve the effort made if what we gave was easy for us to give. But perhaps there is a different lesson there for us. We may be receiving not only gratitude, but a chance to see the world through the eyes of another. We may be learning that just because we gave easily, it doesn’t diminish its value. Or perhaps the universe is giving us an example to hold close to our hearts, to encourage us on some future day when our own generous act of giving is not met with a visible act of receiving. When we can allow ourselves to receive as well as give, we do our part to keep the channels of abundance open for ourselves and others.

Sometimes we may find ourselves struggling to respond to others’ gifts in the same ways—like responding to an expensive present with something equally expensive, or feeling like we have to throw a dinner party for someone who has thrown one for us. But when these are done out of a sense of obligation, their energy changes from something that shares to something that drains. If this sounds familiar, we can decide next time to allow ourselves to receive with arms, minds and hearts open and simply say thank you. 

Accepting a person’s gift is a gift in itself. Sincere appreciation for their acknowledgement and their effort joins our energy with theirs in the cycle of giving and receiving, and nurtures all involved. If ever we find we are still having difficulty, we can decide to allow ourselves to be conduits for gratitude and accept on behalf of a loving, giving universe.

 

Going With The Flow

May 24, 2008

A wise monk, whom I have known for many years, was hiking with an old friend in an antipodean wilderness. Late one hot afternoon they arrived at a splendid stretch of isolated beach. Even though it is against the monk’s rules to swim just for fun, the blue water was inviting and he needed to cool off after the long walk, so he stripped off and went for a swim.
 
When he was a young layman, he had been a strong swimmer. But now, as a monk of long standing, it had been many years since he had last swim. After only a couple of minutes of splashing in the surf, he was caught in a strong rip tide that began to sweep him out to sea. He was later told that this was a very dangerous beach because of the fierce currents.
 
At first, the monk tried to swim against the current. He soon realized, though, that the force of the current was too strong for him. His training now came to his aid. He relaxed, let go and went with the flow.
 
It was an act of great courage to relax in such a situation, as he saw the shoreline recede further and further away. He was many hundreds of metres away from land when the current diminished. Only then did he start to swim away from the rip tide and back towards shore.
 
He told me that swim back to land took every last ounce of his energy reserves. He reached the beach utterly exhausted. He was certain that, had he tried to fight the current, it would have beaten him. He would have been swept far out to sea just the same, but so depleted in energy that he wouldn’t have made it back. If he hadn’t let go and gone with the flow, he was sure he would have drowned.
 
Such anecdotes demonstrate that the adage ‘ When there’s nothing to do, then do nothing’ is not fanciful theory. Rather, it can be life-saving wisdom. Whenever the current is stronger than you are, that is the time to go with the flow. When you are able to be effective, that is the time to put forth effort.
 
Buddhist Tales of happiness by Ajahn Brahm

金縷衣

May 23, 2008

 

与大家共勉之…                             

                    

   

勸君莫惜金縷衣,勸君惜取少年時。 

 

 

花開堪折直須折,莫待無花空折枝。

 

杜秋娘 Du Qiuniang

Let It Roll Off Our Back

May 23, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

One of the most difficult challenges in life is learning not to take things to heart and hold on to it. Especially when we’re younger, or if we’re very sensitive, we take so much of what comes our way to heart. This can be overwhelming and unproductive if it throws us off balance on a regular basis. When we are feeling criticized or attacked from all directions, it becomes very difficult for us to recover ourselves so that we can continue to speak and act our truth. This is when we would do well to remember the old saying about letting certain things roll off us, like water off a duck’s back.

Most of the time, the attacks and criticisms of others have much more to do with them and how they are feeling than with us. If we get caught up in trying to adjust ourselves to other people’s negative energy, we lose touch with our core. In fact, in a positive light, these slings and arrows offer us the opportunity to strengthen our core sense of self, and to learn to dodge and deflect other people’s misdirected negativity. The more we do this, the more we are able to discern what belongs to us and what belongs to other people. With practice, we become masters of our energetic integrity, refusing to serve as targets for the disowned anger and frustration of the people around us.

Eventually, we will be able to hear the feedback that others have to offer, taking in anything that might actually be constructive, and releasing that which has nothing to do with us. First, though, we tend ourselves compassionately by recognizing when we can’t take something in from the outside without hurting ourselves. This is when we make like a duck, shaking it off and letting it roll off our back as we continue our way in the world.

Making The Decision

May 22, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

The hardest thing about saying yes to the universe is that it means accepting everything life puts in front of us. Most of us have a habit of going through our days saying no to the things we don’t like and yes to the things we do, and yet, everything we encounter is our life. We may be afraid that if we say yes to the things we don’t like, we will be stuck with them forever, but really, it is only through acknowledging the existence of what’s not working for us that we can begin the process of change. So saying yes doesn’t mean indiscriminately accepting things that don’t work for us. It means conversing with the universe, and starting the conversation with a very powerful word—yes. 

When we say yes to the universe, we enter into a state of trust that whatever our situation is, we can work with it. We express confidence in ourselves, and the universe, and we also express a willingness to learn from whatever comes our way, rather than running and hiding when we don’t like what we see. The question we might ask ourselves is what it will take for us to get to the point of saying yes. For some of us, it takes coming up against something we can’t ignore, escape, or deny, and so we are left no choice but to say yes. For others, it just seems a natural progression of events that leads us to making the decision to say yes to life.

The first step to saying yes is realizing that in the end it is so much easier than the alternative. Once we understand this, we can begin examining the moments when we resist what is happening, and experiment with occasionally saying yes instead. It might be scary at first, and even painful at times, but if we continue to say yes to every moment through the process, we will discover the joy of being in  a positive conversation with a force much bigger than ourselves.

 

Temporarily Out Of Balance

May 21, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

We are all almost always in the process of learning something new, developing an underused ability or talent, or toning down an overused one. Some of us are involved in learning how to speak up for ourselves, while others are learning how to be more considerate. In the process of becoming, we are always developing and fine tuning one or the other of our many qualities, and it is a natural part of this process that things tend to get out of balance. This may be upsetting to us, or the people around us, but we can trust that it’s a normal part of the work of self-development.

For example, we may go through a phase of needing to learn how to say no, as part of learning to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. During this time, we might say no to just about everything, as a way of practicing and exploring this ability. Like a child who learns a new word, we want to try out this new avenue of expression and empowerment as much as we can because it is new and exciting for us and we want to explore it fully. In this way, we are mastering a new skill, and eventually, as we integrate it into our overall identity, it will resume its position as one part of our balanced life.

In this process, we are overcompensating for a quality that was suppressed in our life, and the swinging of the pendulum from under-use to overuse serves to bring that quality into balance. Understanding what’s happening is a useful tool that helps us to be patient with the process. In the end, the pendulum settles comfortably in the center, restoring balance inside and out.

 

Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

May 20, 2008

“Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.”

 — Nikos Kazantzakis

 

“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.”                                   

— Marva Collins

 

“The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.”                             

— Tyron Edwards

 

“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”     

 –Josef Albers

 

Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation.”                                                                                     

 — John F. Kennedy

 

“Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.”                         

— John Gardner


“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”     

 –Kahlil Gibran                                                                                 

 

“A very wise old teacher once said: “I consider a day’s teaching wasted if we do not all have one hearty laugh.” He meant that when people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, master and pupils, jailer and prisoners. They become a single group of human beings enjoying its existence.”

 — Gilbert Highet

 

“It is not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted.”               

— Linda Conway


“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”                        

–William Butler Yeats

 

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, the excitement, and the mystery of the world we live in.”                                                                                                                        

 –Rachel Carlson

 

“Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.”                                                                                                            

— William Haley

 

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

— Albert Einstein

 

Surrounding With Protective Light

May 20, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

There are times when we may know of someone who is in great need and wants help, but we may feel at a loss about how best to help them. It is at such times that we can ask for help in surrounding them with support and protection, just like the pioneers once circled their wagons in the middle of unknown territory. Whether this means turning to an already established community such as a service organization or gathering support from diverse sources, a group of people can be brought together to help an individual or an entire community. It doesn’t always take money to help someone either–cooking, cleaning, driving, fund raising, or offering emotional support are all valuable and have the added benefit of the closeness of the human touch. In any case, the universe sends angels in the form of willing friends or strangers to gather their individual lights to surround those in need with the warmth of compassion.

Some people may have difficulty accepting or even recognizing aid when it appears in unexpected guises from unlikely sources. All we can do is to follow our inner guidance, give when we are moved to do so and shine our light to the best of our ability. As we join our energy with those in the circle, we become part of something that is larger and more powerful than the individuals within it.

When we act as part of a community of service like this, we are reminded that we are not only assisting an individual or select group in the moment, but we are serving the greater good. We are creating a better world, and can rest assured that help will be there for us as well. As we offer our own light to the collective glow to help someone through a time of darkness, all of our lights become brighter. We can live every day from this place of light, knowing the freedom from fear and worry that allows us to receive and share the protective and supportive light of life.

 

Loving Without Control

May 18, 2008

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).
 
The key stances of letting go of control are all forms of allowing: Acceptance, tolerance, non-resistance. When control is ready to loosen its grip, a definite relaxation takes place. The façade of the demanding, critical partner who is so quick to blame begins to melt. You start to feel love once more, not as an idea but as a sensation in your heart. And at last you find it possible to allow.

When this stage is reached with the beloved, the healing process begins to branch out into other aspects of your life. The following changes will often be in evidence:
 
• You stop measuring people by whether they live up to your expectations. You begin to resist the urge to correct their mistakes and give unwanted advice.

• You lessen your habit of taking care of others without really caring for them.

• You become tired of trying to keep track of every detail of your life and bored with people who have    always given in to you.

• You begin to listen to objections and disagreements instead of using them to trigger your own opinion.

• Unexpected emotions come to the surface. This usually arouses self-criticism because you can’t control your feelings anymore as you once did. At another level, however, this eruption of emotions comes as a great relief.

• Your impatience begins to lessen.

• You take stress seriously, no longer believing that you thrive on it.

• You begin to listen to your body, which has all along been giving you signals of tightness, fatigue, etc.

• Your mind gives up calculating every move in advance.

• You stop holding grudges and remembering slights. Resentment begins to be replaced by tolerance.

• You quit setting external goals for yourself and believing that achieving these goals faster, better, and more tirelessly makes you a good person.
 
How can you love without need ? Know the difference between ego and spirit.