We can choose joy. Joy is innate in every one of us and we can train our minds and attention to develop this seed potential.
Often, our attention quickly and easily focuses on problems, flaws, the lack in our lives, and things to worry about. As neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D. says, "Because negative experiences have generally had more impact on survival than positive ones, the brain has evolved to register them more readily. There is a negativity bias to the brain. The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones." Neuroscience research is showing us that we can change this circuitry and, thus, greatly improve our lives.
Cultivating joy doesn't mean denying the difficulties of life. It's important to embrace both the shadow and light aspects of our nature. Grieving over losses, remembering painful events, and acknowledging hardship is part of being human. We need to allow for the full range of human expression. Because the brain's tendency, though, is to look for and expect bad news, it can serve us to intentionally strengthen the "joy muscle." A simple action that we can take is to repeatedly choose to place our attention on joy and well-being. These actions add up over time and can result in significant changes in the brain.
Here are some suggestions for developing a habit of joy:
Decide to experience more joy in your life. Even if you don't yet know exactly how or when this will happen, affirm that it's important to you and that you intend to do what's necessary to cultivate this quality of your being.
Notice and take in the good. When you go for a walk, drive anywhere, or have lunch with a friend, pay attention to any experiences of joy, beauty, and well being both within you and in your environment. When you delight in seeing a cat stretch in a patch of sun, experience a sense of deep peace in your solar plexus, or bite into a juicy peach, pause and savor these peak moments. Take 10-20 seconds to let them register in your whole bodymind. Many of these small miracles occur every day, and the more you notice them, the happier you will become.
Evoke images, sounds, or kinesthetic experiences in your imagination that represent joy to you. Next time you need a joy boost, visualize a field of sunflowers, remember the touch of someone you love, or imagine you're at the beach enjoying the sound of waves breaking against the shore. Imagery comes close to being as stimulating to the brain as an actual experience.
Cultivating a habit of joy takes commitment, practice, and patience. You can trust, though, that inclining toward joy will eventually become automatic because you are literally creating new neural structures in your brain through intentionally developing this capacity. Enjoy the process and the life-changing results!
INSIGHT TO ACTION COACHING™
A 15% discount on phone or in-person coaching
and hypnotherapy sessions is available
through June 2010.
INSIGHT TO ACTION COACHING™ phone
coaching can help you:
- Achieve your personal and professional goals
- Navigate through periods of transition
- Develop strengths and seed potentials
- Find your purpose and passion
- Overcome blocks and limiting patterns
- Quiet the voice of the Inner Critic
- Access inner knowing for decision-making and clarity about your goals and life direction
- Ignite and sustain your creativity
- Create action steps that generate tangible results
I specialize in helping clients overcome blocks of all kinds and translate ideas and visions into concrete action. Fees are based on a sliding scale and time frames are based on individual wants and needs.
A FREE CONSULTATION is available.
WRITING FROM THE SOUL™
In these ongoing, drop-in groups you will learn processes to free your imagination, develop ease and confidence in writing, cultivate your unique writing voice and overcome blocks to writing.
San Rafael, CA
Last Sunday of each month
INDIVIDUAL COACHING SESSIONS (phone or in-person):
A FREE CONSULTATION is available.
- Overcome writer's block
- Start and/or complete writing projects
- Discover your natural writing voice
- Develop confidence and ease in writing
- Create attainable short and long term goals
ADVANCED GUIDED IMAGERY
CERTIFICATION (NEW OFFERING)A One-Day In-Person Course
Certification in guided imagery offers new personal and
professional opportunities. Guided
imagery is growing in popularity and is finding widespread public and
scientific acceptance. It is being used
in hospitals and health care facilities, businesses, educational institutions,
and athletic, arts, and performance programs.
Topics and activities in the course include:
Shadow Subpersonalities: How to
Transform and Heal the Inner Critic
Addiction, Recovery, and
Dialogue with Intuition
Psychospiritual Dimensions of
Illness and Healing
Joy and the Brain: Techniques to
Increase the Capacity to Experience Joy
Guidelines to Increase the
Effectiveness of Imagery
Advanced Course Prerequisite:
Training in guided imagery or hypnosis /hypnotherapy
Saturday, July 24
am - 5:30 pm
Nurses and hypnotherapists receive CEUs $167 before July 8, $187 after
July 8 For information, or to register for course, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415)721-0766
WRITING FROM THE SOUL:
Writing for Creative Expression and Spiritual Growth
Tuesday, June 22
6:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Corte Madera Library
Corte Madera, California
No prior writing experience
BOUNDARIES AND CAREGIVING (NEW OFFERING)
An Afternoon Workshop
In this free workshop, we will explore how healthy and unhealthy boundaries can greatly influence many aspects of caregiving. This workshop is for professional and family/friend caregivers for people with life-altering illnesses.
- What Are Boundaries?
- Characteristics of Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries
- How Healthy Boundaries Can Help to Prevent Burnout
- The Power of "No"
- Creative Tools for Establishing and Maintaining Flexible Boundaries
Sunday, July 11
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Enrollment is limited. Early registration is advised.
THE SOUL OF CAREGIVING: Creative Tools for Insight and Wellness
This free workshop focuses on 'caring for the caregiver' and is open to healthcare professionals, volunteers and family/friend caregivers for people with cancer and other life-altering illnesses. Participants will explore the meaning and transformational potential of their caregiving experience and receive tools for emotional and spiritual renewal and self care.
Pre-registration is required.
Saturday, June 19
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Wellness Community
Walnut Creek, California
|Click here to visit my website if you'd like to learn more about my phone or in-person Insight to Action Coaching, Writing from the Soul Programs, or The Soul of Caregiving.
A Free Consultation is available. You can also sign up for my free monthly newsletter.