Thursday 27th April 2017

Week 11 Intention. Recognise ‘It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Week 11 Intention. Recognise It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Every time I turn around to look for an answer to what life is dishing up to me now I see that it’s up to me how I address it and how I react/respond.

Until recently I thought that meant “ME” alone. However, with good advice and a cooler head helping me, I realise it means that I can see and seek how to act and solve issues for with tools at my disposal.

These might be professionals. taking my own advice and getting outside, reading an article, doing an on-line course and the like.

I just need to remember to find them and ask for the help from others where it’s useful.

But what I know is that it is all within me.

The poem from Mary Oliver captures the essence of what it is for me. Thanks for my husband (my wonderful confidante, friend and life guide) for this.

Last week, and continuing on, the Gratitude Journal app is having entries almost daily. That’s a win!

My Week 11 Intention.

To recognise that all I need is in me. I need to take into account the ‘in-built guide of my mind’ and the tools I have external to me that can also help me as need be.

I wish you a wonderful week ahead too. It will likely have bumps and scrapes but will have YOU to guide you too.

Denyse.

 

Linking here with Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life. Hello everyone!

 

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Week 10 Intention: Gratitude. 2017.36.

Week 10 Intention: Gratitude. 2017.36.

I’ve blogged before about writing in my gratitude journal on a  regular basis. Then, as if by ‘magic’ the habit gets waylaid. I know that when I made entries in it I could focus on the big and small things that I am grateful for.

I have an app and it gives me a reminder. I am back! It’s a paid app called Gratitude Journal – The Life-changing App. I like it because I can add photos as well as text. There are many others out there too

However, I also practise gratitude more these days without always recording it.

Gratitude has taken some criticism of late in some circles, as does the notion of whether meditation helps us if we cannot shut out our thoughts – by the way, you can’t and that’s OK too!…So I go along with what works for ME!

Here’s some information gleaned about gratitude from a great website worth subscribing to..it’s free. Source:

The Greater Good. 

Physical
• Stronger immune systems

• Less bothered by aches and pains

• Lower blood pressure

• Exercise more and take better care of their health

• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological

• Higher levels of positive emotions

• More alert, alive, and awake

• More joy and pleasure

• More optimism and happiness

Social

• More helpful, generous, and compassionate

• More forgiving

• More outgoing

• Feel less lonely and isolated.

The social benefits are especially significant here because, after all, gratitude is a social emotion. I see it as a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.

Indeed, this cuts to very heart of my definition of gratitude, which has two components. First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good thing in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Thank you to my lovely commenters relating to my ‘go gently’ intention. It “was” a tough week (I am getting somewhat familiar with those!) but I did treat myself more gently and now am ready to accept that some weeks/months/years ARE indeed tough as that is LIFE.

My Week 10 Intention.

To practise gratitude each day, and continue onwards after this week, by noting what I am grateful for and by recording a summary each evening in the journal.

What do you do to practise gratitude?

Denyse.

Joining the lovely Leanne’s linky called Lovin’ Life on Thursdays.

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Little Fishies. 2017.35.

Little Fishies. 2017.35.

On Monday I drove to The Entrance for a haircut. Beforehand I did my favourite thing which was to take a look at The Entrance waterway and see what was happening. Not many people were there as school is back and holidays are over for most. However, the water was freshly running and just under the surface SCHOOL was in for Little Fishies!

Here’s what I saw.

After the haircut I drove back over the bridge in the photo and stopped off at Pelican Wharf where I took these pics standing on a little jetty. Look at the camouflage!

Do you ever just stop and notice nature like this?

It was a very mindful experience for me during a pretty stressful time. Life is like that for me right now.

Denyse.

Joining photography friends here:

Trish: Jen: Sue: Steph.

On the weekends I link with the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and friends.

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Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

I wonder what you thought when you saw this title?

In fact it IS about meditation and it IS for kids…yes!

From my experience of the past two years, meditation is helpful. I use it for helping me stay in the moment more and for being mindful. I’ve written about it here.

More and more though, it is found that a few minutes of meditation, slowing down to focus on the ‘here and now’ and the breath is an excellent strategy for us all. It is not about clearing the mind nor about going to sleep.

Smiling Mind is an Australian-based company producing apps and meditations on-line. The app is free. I have used this app a few times. I like the Australian accent too. Here’s the link to Smiling Mind to find out more.

What caught my eye recently from the ABC in Australia is this:

Meditations for Back to School.*

There are meditations for kids and teachers. I tried the kid one and that’s why I am sharing it here. I would suggest having a go with your children.

I would also try it with a class if I was still teaching!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TnQWp8VBwqQ/UePpQ7YiMWI/AAAAAAAAArw/StA8xwN1J7A/s1600/meditation+for+children.jpg

 

Here from ABC and Smiling Mind. From their website:

Our vision is to see mindfulness meditation on the Australian National Curriculum by 2020.

This hopeful statement from the Dalai Lama provides food for thought.

*Not a sponsored post..I just like to share what I think is helpful for families and education.

Have you tried meditation?

Do your children meditate?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

 

 

 

 

 

It is I Blog On Tuesday time I. B. O.T! Joining Kylie Purtell and the crew who blog on Tuesdays here.

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My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0b/75/1e/0b751e663829b6a2b95fa9e144b06085.jpg

I have always been a react first…and sometimes (OK, maybe a lot) an over-reactor who almost always regrets her behaviour.

Oh why oh why?

I think I know why…really..it’s about unexpressed words or views and how I need to get in first..maybe it’s about needing to think I have ‘control’ but then again..that’s not an excuse is it? Here’s an interesting take on the two!

credit: http://d3fhkv6xpescls.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/react-vs-respond.jpg

However, I do know that I regret my reactions almost EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I would rather take TIME to consider my response rather than react as I know the other person will feel valued and I will feel satisfied that I have not placed my frustrations or blame on another.

My Intention for Week 6 is to slow down my reaction to any given situation so that I take a breath, have a think of how I will behave, and make a response. I will also forgive myself for forgetting this and get back up and remember again!

Update: Intention Week 5. Listening actively has become an almost -automatic response (see what I did there!) and it really has changed me from within and in my dealings with others. 

So what is your style?

Reactor? Responder? Bit of both?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

Joining Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life Linky here.

P.S. This is from one of my favourite on-line teachers ever…Tara Brach. She has written two books I love and has a regular podcast too. Pop over to tarabrach.com to find out more.

If you have the time…this is awesome! Thanks Tara.

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My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

Last week I know I benefitted from my intention of kindness and it was brought home to me even more after a stressful time on Tuesday. I had to summon up the courage to drive a long way (45 minutes) on a super hot day to the periodontist who I HAD to see about my poor gums. I did it, but it was at a physical and emotional cost the next day when my IBS struck and I couldn’t go out. But, instead of my ‘old ways’ of talking to myself and thinking I had ‘failed’ I was able to be kindly towards myself in word and action and be a friend to myself!

Being a friend to yourself takes practice!

It was also lovingly helpful to have so many commenters who understood what I was writing about when they read my post last week. Thank you all! This kindness that is spreading around is GOOD!

Building upon this, and wanting to continue to learn more about how our thinking can distort our feelings (and vice versa) I have become a firm fan of the work of Rick Hanson PhD & his collaborator  Richard Mendius MD. He speaks from years of research about the ‘neurons which fire together wire together’ and how we CAN affect our health by too much of the negative messages,  self-talk and so on.

I have been listening to him speak with  Richard Mendius about  and in doing so, am beginning to make some subtle but helpful changes to my daily experiences.

My Intention Week 4/52. 

My intention this week is to ensure I am taking time to SAVOUR positive experiences of all kinds including these:

knowing I am loved and have a person who is my best friend to talk to, hug and be companion to every single day

that the world of nature just outside my house in the form of my small garden offers me opportunities to observe, smell and touch to let the memories flood my brain

I know this needs to be on-going so next week will be an update and more about what I have learned via the lessons and meditations from this CD program.

Have a good week everyone.

Denyse.

I join Leanne and friends here for the Lovin Life Linky on Thursdays.

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My Week 3 Intention. Compassion. 2017.8.

Week 3 Intention. Compassion. 2017.8.

I am continuing my inward journey this week of intention by learning more about compassion. I have much to learn and firstly about myself. I guess I am tough on myself as many of us are. In fact, both my GP and Psychologist have told me that very thing. I am hearing the words of a very wise man, my husband who says “I expect too much of myself”. What I am doing…and learning…is ‘how to be more compassionate to myself’ as I begin the slow journey of being slightly more confident about how to accept Irritable Bowel Syndrome as it is now because the anxiety it brings can overwhelm me.

Here are some excerpts from an article I read yesterday. The link to the full article is at the end of this.

Compassion is the feeling that naturally arises when you learn of the suffering of another, and that motivates you to want to do something to help. Far from being just a social nicety, compassion has a great evolutionary purpose: Human offspring are the most dependent and vulnerable of any species, and need the most care from others to survive. This total dependence is why Charles Darwin said that sympathy is humanity’s strongest instinct. Simply put: Without compassion we wouldn’t survive.

If you find yourself feeling less moved than you’d like—or maybe your empathy muscle has grown a bit weak from lack of use—here are some ways to strengthen it. You, and every other living creature, will benefit from the results.

Be Kind to Yourself

Sometimes it’s easier to feel compassionate for another than for yourself. But true compassion doesn’t discriminate. The next time you’re having a difficult moment, see if you can offer yourself some kindness. You might be surprised at how much it helps—and helps you to feel kinder toward others.

Turn Values Into Verbs

When asked what they value most in the world, people will often say things like “peace,” “compassion,” or “connection.” But in order to make this real we have to turn these values into verbs, making them more specific and practical. If you value compassion, what does that look like daily? Take out a piece of paper, write “Compassion” at the top and create a list of actions, small to big, that you can start doing immediately.

This is how we live Gandhi’s words: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

This is the source of the full article by Elisha Goldstein.

My intention for Week 3 of 2017.

“dipping my toes” in the water – making small changes!

Each time I take the smallest steps in gaining some greater confidence about living with IBS I will give myself words of support and ensure I write down how it went for me as my psychologist and I planned.

Are you compassionate towards yourself?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

 

Joining Leanne’s linky called Lovin’ Life here this Thursday!

 

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About My Mandalas. 366/343.

About My Mandalas. 366/343.

I’ve become so accustomed to making, viewing and noticing mandalas in ‘my world’ and the ‘world around me’ that I see them ALL the time.

Yes.

Mandalas.

Now,  I am not going to enter into any correspondence about mandalas and definitions because they are almost undefinable.

I think that is their beauty, wonder and gift for me. Some of the art from my mandala journey was written about here and then there is another here with the story of my starting to create them.

I sometimes use something from nature to inspire me and use an image to denote a mandala on my Instagram social media account. @denysewhelanblogs (it’s set at private for now, but ask for follow!).

I have posted a mandala example each day in Instagram and onto Facebook and Twitter. I also belong to a Mandalas group on Facebook where we share our photos of mandalas made and seen.

Since commencing mandala creation on July 1 I have completed at least one mandala a day. It is one of the purposes of my day. I just love it. I wake thinking of what I might create that day. Sometimes I do not post anything I have made that day because I see something in nature or elsewhere that is a mandala and I share that.

Over 175 Mandalas have now been made by me, and I love every one of them. I also love to share them. Recently my Dad who’d never heard of mandalas decided he loved them so much he asked for some for his unit. My older grandkids spied ones they liked last week and took them home. I asked facebook friends if they would like one (postage cost only!) and I sent 10 to new homes.

There is a lot of joy in the creation and the sharing and they have added to my mindfulness and creativity every single day.

In 2017 I will be continuing the practice. Try to stop me!

Each of these is on A3 size quality art paper and are originals by me. I used a variety of media. I was happy to see them go to new owners. It’s part of the joy of mandalas.

If you follow me on IG or are a Facebook friend or would like mandala I create in 2017, let me know. I love to share them as I said.

Thanks for your support too! I get lots of likes when I post my mandalas.

Denyse.

This is a first..and I think will not be the last. Posting under 2 categories here on the blog!

And I am joining Vanessa here for #archivelove on Friday 27 January 2017.

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