Even though I’ve given up my office and am now practicing psychotherapy at home on zoom, I still get into Central Park just about every day. On weekends, I go to a bench that’s under a gathering of trees and read and do writing such as this. This particular morning, as I think about our troubled world, I am also aware of the steadiness, presence, and seeming serenity of the large, towering trees around me. When I’m able to clear my mind and simply be with the trees, I find that my bodymind begins to fill with their essence of steady presence. These earth-kin, because of their size and stature, convey to me—whether this is my projection or something actually coming from the trees—a deep settling.
I also notice the boulders and large rock formations that are so much part of the park and can sense into their grounded stability, as well. Somehow, these earth-kin, along with the trees, speak to me this morning about qualities of patience and presence. In addition, the vivid greens of the trees speak to me of healing, health, well-being, and I soak those qualities in, as well.
When I’m not in the park, I can have the same kind of experience with the “trees” that live in my apartment and with all the stone people who also share my home. The three felines who are my animal companions also convey a powerful ability to totally relax and then immediately be available for play or alertness, as the situation may invite or demand.Read More “807th Week: Nurturing Well-Being with Nature”
I am living with cats for the first time in 24 years. There are three of them, all related, and less than a year old. What I’m aware of constantly these days is how much more often I find myself smiling. I’m kind of a “smiley” person to begin with, so it’s not new territory to me but—even with that familiarity—I’m surprised by how much moreof the time I seem to find myself smiling.
This got me to thinking about the research that’s been done around smiling. Read More “726th Week: Smiling as A Resource”
One of the things I’ve worked with for nearly 40 years is the concept of accessing the optimal future self and, drawing on ideas found in quantum physics, accessing my optimal life. What I like about working with intentions that focus on what is optimal is that it draws from the infinite range of probabilities, what some people call the “quantum foam”, those that offer optimal outcomes and input to my life.
Having called on various expressions of my optimal future self over all these years, my experience has been that my life has unfolded in ways I would never have anticipated and yet in ways that leave me, in my 70’s, deeply contented, even as I continue to be quite busy work-wise.
Over the years, I have offered many people journeys into their optimal futures, always explaining that it’s not actually about the “future”, since the Now is only and always the present moment. Instead, it’s about drawing from our underlying wholeness aspects of being that haven’t before come into the foreground of who we are in the world.
What I like most about this work is that it asks us to be willing not to know, not to have to plan or figure out how to live into our optimal life. I feel this because our planning or figuring out draws on only what we know already and the goal here is to get out of the way of our many preconceptions, beliefs, shoulds, and rules. Instead, it’s a process of being willing to be open to receive unexpected, unanticipated, and not always comfortable changes in how we move through the world and what we do with our time.Read More “850th Week: I Am Willing to Live My Optimal Life”
Brain research offers many new insights into the impact of our everyday attitudes and ways of being affect us as we move through our daily lives. Recently, I heard an interview on NPR where a neuroscientist talked about recent research in gratitude and its effects on neurotransmitters. The upshot of the interview was that focusing on gratitude automatically generates increased dopamine and serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters are part of our “feel good” chemistry.
What was both intriguing and encouraging about the information offered in the interview was that it didn’t take an enormous amount of effort to elicit this neurochemical change in the brain. It got me to thinking about… Read More “674th Week: Cultivating Gratitude for Greater Well-Being”