• Radical Acceptance - (read more)

    What I learned from a recent power failure?

    Sometimes in life things happen that are beyond our control.

    This is what happened two nights ago when the electricity went out suddenly.

    Initially I felt it would not last long.

    Then I became annoyed by the cold and the fact that I could not cook and had to get a takeaway for supper.

    As the evening progressed I became angry and tried to wish it away.

    All through this time I was fighting against the power failure and this was only making things worse than they actually were. I had thoughts such as – why is this happening to me, why did this have to happen on such a cold night, why can’t I watch TV, etc.

    What I was doing was resisting what was actually happening at that moment in time. Being at odds with the present moment was draining my energy, and causing me to feel really stressed and angry. The source of stress was not the actual event but my denial of the event.

    When the lights were not back by the next day I felt even tenser, my cell phone had died, I could not use my lap top, there was no hot water and the plans I had for that morning had to be rearranged.

    I realised then that there was nothing I could do about the bringing the lights back on.

    This is when I finally accepted the situation.

    Suddenly I relaxed and felt calmer. Solutions started coming to me. I became more focussed; I knew what I had to do to move forward. This

    acceptance

    of the situation didn’t bring the lights back on but it allowed me to engage with the moment in a different way. It was as if acceptance gave a new energy to the moment.

    So what did I learn from this? And how can we all apply this to our lives?

    Once you accept things exactly the way they are, things flow. The minds fears, judgements and resentments are released and clarity arises.

    Acceptance does not mean you have to like the situation or that you stop looking for solutions or that you agree with what has happened or that you become resigned.

    All it means is that you see things exactly the way they are in that moment. You become aligned with what is. And from being present with this moment in whatever form it is, tension is released, experience is enhanced and the next moment flows perfectly.

    As Jon Kabat Zinn says in his book Full Catastrophe Living – We waste a lot of time and energy denying or resisting what is actually fact. We try to force a situation to be the way we would like it to be and this causes more tension… and prevents positive change from occurring and we have little energy left for healing and growing. Acceptance means that you have come around to a willingness to see things as they are.

    So next time you have a stressful or unwanted situation on your hands (this can be anything from waiting in a queue at the bank to getting stuck in traffic to your feelings about your current weight to an illness or to feeling sad) try this:

    1. See if you can be open and receptive to it. Look at it with curiosity.
    2. Accept the reality of the situation without trying to change it or resist it or avoid it.
    3. A definition of acceptance is “the act of taking or receiving something offered”. Look at these events as an offering that you have accepted and see what arises.

    As Eckart Tolle says:

    “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it…

     

    this will miraculously transform your whole life”

    Let me know how it goes …

    Take care and remember to keep on creating a life of joy that you are meant to be living right now…

    Dr G Chiba

    P. S. When the electricity came back the learning continued. I felt gratitude that we had electricity again and that I could enjoy a hot cup of tea, warm water and that I could type this newsletter. Thank you Eskom 😉

  • Peace of mind that's just under your nose - (read more)

    Today you will be hearing about the

    secret to peace of mind that’s just under your nose…

    and it’s for free…

    Ever feel overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life, stressed at work, harassed about meeting a deadline, forcing yourself to get more done in one day. Wishing that you could just have a single moment of peace in your life?

    Or maybe you feel like life is moving too slowly, that your experiences never seem to change and seem stale and boring. Do you wish for excitement, change, something more refreshing in your life?

    Today I am going to give you a simple technique that will help you with all these feelings.

    Something that will help you right NOW.

    Are you ready?

    Simply notice your breath.

    Notice the in breath.

    Notice the out breath.

    Notice the slight expansion of your abdomen and chest as you breathe in.

    Notice the slight pause between breaths, especially the one between one out breath and the next in breath.

    How do you feel now?

    Where did your thoughts go?

    What happened to your emotions?
    In the moment of becoming aware of your breath all else falls away.

    You are able to, in that moment, truly experience your self.

    Stripped away from the thoughts in your head, the emotions that rush to meet those thoughts and the ideas about yourself or this situation, you are able to truly experience this moment.

    And it is only in this moment that our lives play out.

    The use of such techniques that help people become more aware of their experience in the present moment is called mindfulness. Researchers have shown that using these mindfulness techniques helps people to cope better with stress, can prevent the relapse of depression and allows people to be more at ease in their lives. It has also shown to help with chronic pain and fatigue.

    As Eckart tolle said:

    “Being aware of your breath forces you into the present moment

     

    – the key to all inner transformation”

    So why don’t use it in your daily life.

    Breathing happens by itself. All you have to do is watch it happening.

    So simply become aware of your breath whenever you remember.

    Perhaps you can use certain triggers to remind yourself, such as when you are feeling stressed, or when you are rushing or even when you are feeling bored and/or impatient.

    The more you often you remember, the more often you will be living in this present moment.

    Let me know how it goes …

    Take care and remember to keep on creating a life of joy that you are meant to be living right now…

    Dr G Chiba

  • Gratitude - (read more)

    Today’s tip is a simple technique that will lead to feelings of happiness, relaxation and improved overall health. This technique is the practice of:

    GRATITUDE

    Gratitude is the feeling of appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to one’s self, it is a general state of thankfulness. Gratitude enables us to put things into perspective so that we can appreciate what is good in our lives.

    So you might ask what the link between gratitude and depression is.

    Researchers in the study of gratitude have proven that keeping up a regular practice of gratitude allowed people to:

    1. Feel happier and more optimistic
    2. Feel less depressed and anxious
    3. Cope better with stress and challenges
    4. Feel less hopeless and maintain a brighter view of the future
    5. Take better care of themselves physically and mentally
    6. Have improved immunity and lower blood pressure
    7. Cultivate stronger relationships

    Here are a few ways that you can cultivate gratitude in your life:

    1. Write a thank you note to someone who has had an impact on your life, deliver it personally or via email or even mentally thank them.

     

    1. Start a gratitude journal that can be kept daily or weekly. Here are some tips to practice effectively:

    i.         Make it a ritual e.g. do it just before you go to sleep.

    ii.         Name at least 3 things that you are grateful for.

    iii.         Ask yourself what you are grateful for in an area that you are struggling with e.g. if you are struggling weight you could be grateful for taking a walk that day.

    iv.         You can be grateful for big things (home, job) or little/mundane things (your spouse made you a cup of tea).

    v.         Reframe negative into a positive, ask your self – what can I learn from this?

    vi.         Feel the gratitude

     

    1. Say thank you for the mundane

    Remember that Happiness is a practice. As Marianne Williamson said

    “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize

     

    how good things really are”

    So my challenge to you is to keep a journal for 1 week, at the end of the week let me what differences you felt in your outlook and mood.

    Take care and remember to keep on creating a life of happiness…

    Dr G Chiba