Over the past 30 years, I’ve studied mind-body health with many teachers and learned many things. Today’s blog is a tribute to all my teachers whether I studied with them in person or not. They include Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Alice Doemar, Dr. Ronald Siegel, Dr. David Burns, Leonie Wolff, RN, WHNP., Slyvia Weber, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatry, and Carolyn Myss, Here are their words of wisdom that have stuck with me over the years, influencing me in the way I provide care as a psychologist and the way I lead my life. They are my heroes.
Dr. Deepak Chopra: “What we think about expands; What we stop thinking about contracts.” Although I understand this completely now, it took me a while. When you start thinking about what you want instead of what you don’t want, life gets easier and you enjoy your life more. My clients are always surprised when they discover that when they stop their automatic negative thinking about their life and what’s going to go wrong, they feel less depressed and anxious.
Dr. Wayne Dyer: “The past is like a wake that a boat leaves behind” when it’s moving forward. I may not have said that exactly, but I was spellbound when I first heard it. So, many of us make ourselves miserable dwelling on the past and what could have been. In fact, the more we dwell on regrets we have about the past, we feel more depressed, hopeless and lack the motivation and energy to change. When we worry about the future, we feel anxious and overwhelmed. Research indicates that meditation and mindfulness which focus on paying attention to the moment we’re in reduce anxiety, depression and the release of stress hormones.
Dr. Ronald Siegel: “The mind is like an unruly puppy that wanders aimlessly and we have to learn to tame it” or we’re at its mercy. This is how I truly began to understand mindfulness and how I could teach it. Ron brings these ideas down to earth and his book “The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices to Everyday Problems” is golden. Like the first 2 tips, we learn to intentionally put our attention on what’s occurring in the present moment instead of dwelling on unpleasant thoughts, feelings or experiences from our past or imagined unpleasant thoughts, feelings and sensations about future events. With time and practice, you can do it!
So, you’ve learned some words of wisdom from a few of my teachers. Now, take their words and put them into practice in real life to stress less and live better.
I’m also dedicating this post to my daughter Rachel who’s been my whole social media staff and IT person. I couldn’t do it without you! Love-mom
I just got back from a wonderful week of meditation and yoga with Deepak Chopra and the amazing Chopra Center teachers. In it, they talked about how each day corresponds to one of “7 Spiritual Laws of Success,” and ways to practice each law on a given day.
So, here’s my first gift for you-ideas from Deepak Chopra about how to put Monday’s law, the “Law of Giving” into practice.
1. Bring everyone you come in contact with today a gift. For example, a smile, compliment or hug. Be creative. Material gifts count too but research shows that affection, attention and acceptance nourish our souls most.
2. Be grateful for all life’s gifts like the sun, the flowers and waking up in the morning. Be open to receiving gifts from others whether it’s a material gift, compliment or kind remark. Let it soak in.
3. Keep the ultimate “wealth in life” -love, affection and caring ” circulating through giving and receiving which work in unison to keep the energy of the universe flowing. Send lovingkindness silently to everyone you meet.
My second gift to you is to encourage you to sign up for the Chopra Center’s 21-Day meditation challenge “Free to Love” which starts today. Each day has a guided meditation, inspiration and practical tips about improving your health and well-being. Don’t pressure yourself about this. Be open-minded and take from it what works for you. That’s all.
Many times I figure out what my New Year’s resolution is after the new year starts. That’s what happened this past week. I woke up Wednesday night thinking, “Stop struggling. Enjoy the good life you have.” Don’t get carried away and think my life is perfect. It isn’t. Although Ann and I teach self-care, we are equally challenged to make it part of our daily lives.
The New Year is about how to improve life and ourselves rather than savor what’s already working. In fact, last week I talked about taking small steps to make change stick which still applies because it’s challenging to “smell the roses” when facing the “daily grind” as one of my clients puts it. When did we decide that life had to be difficult and stressful instead of satisfying and joyful? How often do we hear each other say, “I’m so stressed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.” It’s the mantra of modern life.
I’m listening to Deepak Chopra‘s Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You. He says that reconnecting with our soul’s inner guidance can make our lives easier. Well, mine woke me up last week and I’m resolved to spend more time soaking up the sunshine and appreciating my blessings. My family, friends, comfy home, writing with Ann, work I love , and the wonderful community of women whose lives have touched mine. Each day is a gift. Even in the darkest night, the stars shine.