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Personal Change - The 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck

Getting stuck in our attempts at personal change is a common experience.

We get stuck for at least 4 reasons:

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Dealing With Tough Times - It's ALL About These 2 Simple Things

I know it does sound dramatic to say this but... "it's ALL about these 2 simple things..."

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I Did It MY Way!

It's my choice, my life. I did it MY way.

We are all constantly impacted by change. Things manifest, are created and appear and then they decay, dissipate and disappear. Nothing lasts forever.

There are only three possible responses to imposed change:

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How Things Are…

This is the nature of things. This is how things are. Nobody has the perfect life.

We have two powerful options:

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Living the Mess - Life is messy - Embrace it all.

For more than half my life, I was on ever-increasing amounts of psychiatric medication for intractable anxiety and depression.

In 2010, I tapered off meds and began searching for ways to rewire my brain for inner peace. Today, I’m one of the most content people I know (well, most of the time).

I write about the practices that have helped me.

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These Flames are Cool and Refreshing

What do a 16th-century Zen master and a contemporary cartoon dog have in common? Both of them maintained equanimity as their worlds burned, says Cristina Moon. And this is why we train as Buddhists.

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Lessons from a Wildfire

When his community’s beloved retreat center burned to the ground, Anam Thubten took it as a teaching on impermanence. Instead of futilely fighting loss, he says, let it be our invitation to freedom and spaciousness.

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Love Is the Answer to the Climate Crisis

As the climate crisis worsens, and the window to solve it is quickly closing, we have a choice to make: we can shut down in fear or lean in and open our hearts even more.

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WEEKEND READING: The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong

A longstanding problem in physics, known as the measurement problem, indicates that an observer is needed in order to produce the basic outcomes that create particles.

In other words, physical reality has a psychological component that is inseparable from it we live in a participatory universe.

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How To Find Your Centre - 15 Powerful Centering Methods to Reduce Stress, Increase Focus, and Make Better Decisions

Learning how to center yourself is perhaps the most important skill most people never learn.

This guide explains what the Center actually means and offers effective methods to help you find it:

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New Neuroscience Reveals 5 Secrets That Will Make You Emotionally Intelligent

Marc Brackett is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His book "Permission to Feel" has a simple system we can use to build real Emotional Intelligence skills.

Marc lays out a 5-step process here:

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Loving-Kindness: Healing Your Inner Child

Many of us find it difficult to direct love toward ourselves. We quickly become aware of negative feelings like shame, guilt, and self-criticism that make it hard to love and care for ourselves. Unfortunately, this is all too common.

Peggy Rowe Ward and Larry Ward share how to give yourself the love and compassion you deserve. And send some of that love to the wounded child inside you.

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Make Friends With Your Body

On or off the meditation cushion, we can be friends with our body—just the way it is. Yoga teacher Cyndi Lee shows us how to sit with relaxation and ease.

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A Practice for Developing Kindness Toward Yourself

Valerie Mason-John, author of Detox Your Heart: Meditations for Emotional Healing, shares a meditation for cultivating a positive relationship with yourself, and, by extension, the world.

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Say Yes to an Open Heart

Diana Winston reflects on the intertwining of mindfulness and compassion, as practiced with an open heart.

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WEEKEND READING: Do We Actually Experience the Flow of Time?

The experience of temporal flow is an illusion. All we ever actually experience is the present snapshot, which entails a timescape of memories and imaginings analogous to the landscape of valley and mountains. Everything else is a story.

To advance our understanding of reality we must thus revise cherished assumptions about our experience of time.

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The Luck Factor - Random Fate or Result Of Inner Beliefs & Outer Actions?

Much of the good and bad fortune we encounter is a result of our thoughts and behavior.

"Lucky" people generate their own good fortune via these four basic principles:

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5 Questions That Help Us Wake Up

Trying to push away our emotional distress can throw us into “cognitive shock” that turns our mind into a muddle.

Ezra Bayda shares five simple questions to help us cut though confusion:

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New Year Resolutions - Why Are They So Hard to Stick To?

Personal change is inherently tricky. We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change.

Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change.

Here's why, and what to do about it:

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How To Motivate Yourself When Things Are Tough

We live in an age and a culture that is obsessed with instant fixes and unfortunately I can't offer you an instant fix.

What I can do is suggest the following thoughts and self motivation tips that are based entirely on my own hard experience of some very tough times, and that will bring you through into calmer waters - and may just change your life.

Some of this is counter-intuitive, so if you feel resistance rising - just watch it - cos in my experience resistance often points to a submerged truth.

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Holiday Blues

Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller on enjoying the holiday you’re having, not the one you were hoping for.

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You Already Have What You’re Looking For

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shares what he feels is the most helpful message Buddhism can offer in coming decades.

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What Is Enlightenment? It's Not What You Think But What You Know

There is something in human nature - a desire to glamourise, sanctify, objectify and idolise - that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the human race and create distance between them and the rest of us.

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Personal Development - The Filtering Mechanism in Why We Think The Way We Do

Here’s how the filtering mechanisms affect how our internal map of reality operates to generate our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.

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Personal Development - Why We Think The Way We Do

Why we think the way we do?

Here’s the big picture of how our internal map of reality operates to generate our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.

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Spiritual Awakening - There Can Be No UP Without DOWN, No ON Without OFF

The physical world that we see and live in - "the foreground" and mistake as reality – or all there is – is only 50% of the equation.

The other 50% is "the background" – also referred to as emptiness, the void, the field of possibilities, the "ground of all being", God, Allah etc.

Our senses are constructed in such a way that we notice and respond to "the foreground" but miss "the background", but that doesn't mean it isn't there, and that doesn't mean it isn't absolutely essential.

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Personal Development - 4 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person

Why is it that whenever someone says, “face the facts” you know you’re about to hear something you don’t want to hear? Probably because of a second cliche: “The truth hurts.”

It’s much easier to face harsh truths when we know there’s a roadmap, and that we’ll come out the other side stronger. Here's how:

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Spiritual Awareness - How To Escape The Delusion Of Dogma

Dogmas – religious, political, scientific – arise out of the erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth.

Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas.

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Spiritual Awareness - The Life Beyond Our Thinking Mind

We confuse "the world as-it-is-thought-about" with "the world as-it-is".

We’re like a person eating the menu instead of the meal.

This confusion over who we are is why we feel chronically frustrated with life and keep seeking the "missing" piece.

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The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong

It would be ideal if reality and our model of reality merged into the same thing. A model of reality explains how the universe was created and how it operates. You might think that this is a definition of reality itself, but it isn’t...

...we live in a participatory universe.

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Personal Development - Why Managing Personal Change Is Inherently Tricky

Managing personal change is inherently tricky. We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change. Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change...

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How Many Thoughts Does Your Mind Think in One Hour?

Do you know how many thoughts your mind thinks each hour of the day? Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour.

If you pay attention to these thoughts, you would be amazed to discover that most of them are useless, unimportant thoughts that pass through the mind with a huge speed.

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How Meditation Transformed This Entrepreneur’s Career Path

Meditation has elevated my life in ways I could have never imagined. From better leadership decisions to stronger personal relationships, dedicating time daily just to breathe and focus on my thoughts has been transformational.

That's why I was thrilled to connect with Michelle Zarrin, a meditation and mindfulness coach, author, speaker, and founder of the Mindfulness Expo.

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Personal Development - 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck

We like to think – and are often led to believe – that we are masters of our destiny.

Yet that is just not true, as the vast majority of what we think is outside of our conscious awareness.

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This Is How To Be Resilient: 4 Secrets To Grit When Life Gets Hard

Often, resilience is associated with being tough and rigid. But that’s not gonna get you very far with feelings.

We’re not trying to be invulnerable. That’s impossible. We’re going to be flexible. You cannot avoid or resist all pain in life.

But we can live with our discomfort better. We can manage it and have a better relationship with it. Here's how:

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WEEKEND READING: Buddhism for Beginners

New to Buddhism or meditation? Then you probably have a lot of questions — and here you’ll find helpful answers, in these articles.

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3 Mindful Practises For Dealing With Imposed Change

I was not working and experiencing a very hard time financially with all the obvious pressures associated with that. I became exhausted and completely run down. I found it hard to control my thoughts. I would often wake up in the early hours of the morning with extremely negative thoughts.

Here are 3 tips for dealing with the stress of imposed change - all based on deep personal experience.

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Mindfulness Exercises - The Practise Of Living Mindfully

How to integrate mindful living into everyday activities.

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The Lifespan of an Emotion

In neuroscientist Jill Bolte-Taylor’s memoir, My Stroke of Insight, she notes that the physiological lifespan of an emotion in the body and brain is 90 seconds. The sensations—adrenalin, heat in the face, tightness in the throat, rapid heartbeat—arise, peak and dissipate on their own.

When was the last time you experienced an emotion for only 90 seconds?

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Meditation And My Well-Being

A journey towards insight, increased confidence, a calmer me and an increased vigor for life.

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Tips On Mindfulness Practise

Some practical tips and suggestions, based on my personal experience.

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Mindful Listening

You are engaged in the practise of mindful listening when you remain fully present whilst the other person is speaking. The dynamics of mindful listening differ from "normal" listening in several important respects:

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WEEKEND READING: 3 Gifts From Thich Nhat Hanh

The 10th November marked the 93rd birthday of the great Zen master, peace activist, and teacher of mindful living, Thich Nhat Hanh.

I’ve always admired how Thich Nhat Hanh can say so much in just a few words. Here are three of my favorite teachings from him.

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5 Questions That Help Us Wake Up

Trying to push away our emotional distress can throw us into “cognitive shock” that turns our mind into a muddle. Here are five simple questions to help us cut though confusion.

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Be a Lamp Unto Yourself - How To Cultivate A Spirit Of Inquiry

The Buddha acknowledges that people rely on multiple types of authority: some internal, some external, some reliable, some way off the mark. He advises them that just because a teaching is ancient, or recited from the scripture, does not make it true. Just because it appears reasonable, or you’re drawn to the person teaching it, does not mean it is wise. The Buddha highlights the primacy of direct experience.

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What If This Is It?

What if, as Thich Nhat Hanh simply yet profoundly states, “This is it?”

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These Are Not “Your” Thoughts

If we remain unaware of thoughts as they arise, it is difficult to develop insight into their impersonal nature and into our own deep-rooted and subtle identification with the thought process.

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WEEKEND READING: The Invisible Majority [America's Asian Buddhists]

The vast majority of American Buddhists are of Asian heritage, yet they are too often ignored, mispresented, and even looked down upon. Chenxing Han offers five ways we can start to heal the great divide in American Buddhism.

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Why We Give Our Power Away to our Fears and How to Take it Back

To live well is to live in a reality without the conditionings brought by all of our fears but instead to be free of them.

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