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How to live well: 5th meeting - positivity, savouring & gratitude

 

"Ten thousand flowers in the spring; the moon in autumn; a cool breeze in summer; snow in winter.  If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life."                                Wu-wen

"Thus weave for us a garment of brightness; that we may walk fittingly where birds sing; that we may walk fittingly where grass is green; O' our Mother the Earth, O' our Father the Sky."       Tewa Indian 'Song of the Sky Loom'

Deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life

A sense of meaning, connection to our values and real engagement in what we do are crucial to nourish high wellbeing in our lives … and then high wellbeing feeds back to help us be more vital & effective in what we do.  But it’s important too to ‘smell the flowers’ on our journey.  Excessive focus on being happy is likely to be counter-productive but being too ‘puritanical’ tends to shoot ourselves in the foot as well.  The fascinating work of Barbara Fredrickson on the 'broaden & build’ function of positive/pleasurable emotions illustrates the way that deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life doesn’t just balance energy & effectiveness, it actually boosts these qualities.  A high emotional

  • Ch.14: Meditation, Gratitude & Savouring

    Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.

    - William Temple

    There are so many interesting issues that can be covered in this chapter, for example "Four aspects of inner focus" model.  Mindfulness.  Acceptance.  Presence.  Flow.  Positive psychology findings.  Importance of gratitude/savouring.

     

    A day spent "idle & blessed": revisiting an experiment - savouring & "positive state mindfulness"

    Last September I went back to Cambridge for a reunion ... the first time I'd ever been back to school or university for such a thing.  It was an experiment in "emotional archaeology" and I wrote a series of blog posts about it.  At one stage I experimented with a dialogue between the 22 year old and the current 62 year old versions of me.  In the post "Going back for a university reunion: self-esteem, hallucinogens, wonder & the transpersonal", I wrote "I changed subject too from philosophy to medicine (in 1970).

    Mindfulness during daily activities: is it helpful to vary the proportions of the five facets?

    "If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life."    Wu-men

    This is one of a series of blog posts triggered by attending a MBSR training - see for example the recent "Learning mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): second evening of the course".  A key aspect of the training is the development of "mindfulness" in everyday life.  To me, mindfulness during daily activities seems to have different flavours at different times.  I wonder if this is useful, if varying the flavour depending on the situation can be helpful?  Here are three examples from the last three days:

    E: Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, session 5

    The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them; there ought to be as many for love.

    - Margaret Atwood

    Yesterday evening was the fifth session of this 12 evening training course.  I wrote about the fourth session last week.  As usual, this evening, the material we were due to cover was described in a dozen Powerpoint slides which the participants received as a handout.  See slides 1-6, Powerpoint or slides 1-6, PDF and slides 7-12, Powerpoint or slides 7-12, PDF.

    Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, fifth session

    Yesterday evening was the fifth session of this 12 evening training course.  I wrote about the fourth session last week.  As usual, this evening, the material we were due to cover was described in a dozen Powerpoint slides which the participants received as a handout.  See slides 1-6, Powerpoint or slides 1-6, PDF and slides 7-12, Powerpoint or slides 7-12, PDF.

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