Inquiring sharing helping Evolving compassion
If a focus on the outcome and the extrinsic aspects of an activity are conducive to anxiety and depression, then the objective quality of my work, whether washing dishes or writing grant proposals, will likely be lowered, given what we know about the adverse effects of negative emotion on performance. So seeking the extrinsic outcome makes the failure to achieve that outcome more likely. A focus on the process and intrinsic qualities of an activity reduces the likelihood of anxiety and depression (thus eliminating their negative impact on performance), increases the pleasure of joy during the process, and thus increases the likelihood of achieving the extrinsic outcome. I have to let go of the desired outcome in order to acquire it. What a paradoxical and strange way to live.
Borkovec, T. D. (2002) Life in the future versus life in the present. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 76–80.
I spoke with a young woman today, she is married, two kids and a home based business. She is in the process of trying to get healthy by exercising. In front of me and a few others, she confessed to being a smoker. The reactions from the others was in judgment and righting, meaning that they were reacting with shock and explaining to her how bad smoking is for her health.
Think about what your coping method. What is it about your life that you don't like and what do you do to cope? For example, your life could be too stressful, your in a bad marriage or you are coping with a loss that seems too overwhelming. Some cope by drinking, eating, smoking, lashing out, and behavioral addictions like gambling or internet addictions.
We all have our physically and/or psychologically unhealthy coping methods with issues that we feel we cannot change. When someone confesses their coping method, react to them as if it was you confessing yours. Show kindness, compassion and understanding rather than judgment. Just because it is not your drug of choice does not mean that the pain isn't real. People who smoke or drink to much or whatever, know what is wrong with it. Do you think that this young women has never heard before how bad smoking is for her health?
Actively listen to what she has to say, wish her love and kindness and tell her to never give up. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
According to Buddhist tradition there are three poisons of the mind. These are greed, anger and ignorance. Greed can be defined as grasping at unnecessary desires. Anger is aversion to what is sensed and ignorance is delusion of what is. These poisons create suffering in the individual and to others.
When you turn these three poisons of the mind around you create generosity, compassion and wisdom. This practice eliminates the suffering that we create.
This exercise works great for affirming an individual's positive aspects.
Please make adjustments for your situation.
Group size: 10, plus a group leader or teacher
Exercise: on a piece of paper, have everyone write down all the names (first and last names) of the people in the group. Leave space between the names to write more.
For each name write 2 things positive about that person's behavior (things that they do). For example, you are a good listener and you show empathy to others. Or, you get others involved and you make people smile when you are around them.
Group leader: collect the papers. Take one piece of paper for each group member. Write their name at the top of the page. For each name, write the positive affirmations under it. There should be 18 total under each name. (10 group members write about the other group members = 9 others x 2 positive affirmations = 18).
At the end of the class or meeting, give each individual their list of positive affirmations.
This exercise can have a life long effect that people will never forget.
Please comment if these directions are not clear.
Please share your experience with this exercise!